US President Barack Obama defended a supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as the crowd at a Democratic rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina began yelling at him when he stood up with a pro-Trump sign.
Obama repeatedly told the crowd to “hold up” as Hillary Clinton’s supporters started booing a man who stood up with the sign supporting the Republican presidential nominee.
The man, dressed in a military uniform, stood in the aisle of the arena stands and just held up his sign, which was one of the usual sizes. He didn’t say anything.
“No, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Hold up. Hold up. Hold up. Hold up. Hold up. Hey, hold up! Hold up! Hold up! Hold up! Hold up! Hold up! Hold up, hold up, hold up!,” said President Obama as the audience did not listen to him.
“Hillary! Hillary! Hillary” they kept yelling. “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, listen up! Hey, everybody! Everybody! Hey! Hey! Listen up! Hey! I told you to be focused, and you’re not focused right now! Listen to what I’m saying,” President Obama said as he appeared to be frustrated.
“Hold up! Hold up! Hold up! Hold up! Everybody sit down and be quiet for a second. Everybody sit down and be quiet for a second. Now, listen up! I’m serious, listen up.
You’ve got an older gentleman who is supporting his candidate.
He’s not doing nothing — you don’t have to worry about him,” President Obama said.
“This is what I mean about folks not being focused. First of all, we — hold up! Hold up! First of all, we live in a country that respects free speech,” President Obama said amidst applause from the audience.
Mr Obama told the crowd that it appears the man was a veteran, and they should respect his service.
“So, second of all, it looks like maybe he might have served in our military, and we’ve got to respect that. Third of all, he was elderly, and we’ve got to respect our elders. And fourth of all, don’t boo, vote! Come on,” he said.
President Obama asked people to stay focused and reminded his supporters of free speech rights in the US “because if we don’t — if we lose focus, we could have problems. This is part of what’s happened here during this election season. We just get stirred up for all kinds of reasons that are unnecessary. Just relax,” he said as the audience and the President burst into laughter.