President Biden was met with people protesting the war in Gaza at a rally promoting abortion access, with chants from the crowd interrupting his speech nearly a dozen times.
When his speech started, he was immediately heckled by a protester carrying a Palestinian flag and shouting, “How many kids have been killed?” Within seconds, the protester was drowned out by chants of “four more years” from the crowd, which lasted for about a minute.
Once the dueling chants stopped, another protester shouted out, “Israel kills two mothers every hour,” and chants of, “We love Joe!” began. Within minutes, more protesters yelled out phrases like, “Genocide Joe has got to go,” and, “Stop funding genocide,” which were met again with chants of, “Four more years!”
“They feel deeply,” Biden said, before starting back into his speech.
“We’re going to have this go on for a while,” he said after a third interruption. “We got a couple more.”
The protesters were escorted out of the campaign event, which took place in Manassas, Va. The president’s speech to highlight his focus on reproductive rights and rebuke former President Trump, his likely GOP opponent in the 2024 presidential election, was interrupted about 10 times overall.
“I’m sorry it’s taking so long,” Biden said after hearing from a fourth protester. “Let’s go, Joe” started again quickly after the shouting.
In response to another protester yelling, Biden said, “This is going to go out for a while, they’ve got this planned.”
As he was talking about Trump’s hand in the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, a sixth protester was audibly shouting.
“Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans, including the woman hollering,” he said, calling her out.
The crowd was quick to start, “Let’s go, Joe,” chants whenever a protester would yell, and Biden would pause his speech for a few seconds.
“Please don’t jump,” Biden said later to someone yelling in the crowd about the war in the Middle East.
About 15 minutes into the speech, the crowd yelled for several seconds in what appeared to be an effort to drown out protesters. Overall, Biden’s speech was about 20 minutes long with the interruptions.
Biden was met with protesters calling for a cease-fire in Gaza in South Carolina earlier this month. He has encountered protests during nearly every trip he has made since the war in the Middle East over his pro-Israel stance in its response to Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attacks that killed more than 1,000 Israelis.
The president has faced increasing pressure from the left to call for a cease-fire in Gaza and has rebuffed those calls, arguing it would allow Hamas to regroup and only help them. The Biden administration has increasingly encouraged Israel to target its approach in Gaza against Hamas and minimize the impacts of its operation on civilians.