Hecklers angered by President Biden’s opposition to a cease-fire in Gaza again stole his show Wednesday — this time at an event where the United Auto Workers endorsed Biden for re-election and dismissed Donald Trump’s play for union votes.
“Cease-fire now!” a woman wearing a keffiyeh shouted, pumping her fist as she was shoved toward the exit at a hotel event space near the White House.
At least two other protesters, one of them holding a Palestinian flag, were dragged away, footage published on X by New York Times reporter Katie Rogers showed.
The disruptions were drowned out by union members chanting “UAW! UAW!”
It was the latest instance of Biden being heckled for his support of Israel’s invasion to remove Hamas from power in Gaza following the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 surprise attacks that killed about 1,200 in southern Israel.
Large protest marches have vandalized the White House grounds with anti-Biden graffiti and on Tuesday afternoon, the 81-year-old president was interrupted 10 times at his first joint campaign rally of 2024 with Vice President Kamala Harris, which was supposed to focus on abortion rights.
Biden previously was heckled Jan. 8 while speaking at a campaign event at a church in Charleston, SC.
Polls show that Biden’s stance on the Gaza conflict could put him in trouble with Democratic-leaning younger voters, Arab Americans and Muslim Americans.
An “Abandon Biden” campaign is urging swing-state Muslims to desert the president.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby was asked Wednesday at the regular White House briefing about the interruptions on Tuesday night and whether such protests were “changing” the president’s mind about his support for Israel.
“Since the very early going in this conflict, we have been urging our Israeli counterparts to be careful and precise,” Kirby replied, noting also that US officials had advocated “humanitarian pauses in the fighting.”
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says more than 25,000 people have died in the Israeli invasion, which has secured control of about half of the densely populated territory’s area.
Biden has publicly dismissed the credibility of the reported death toll, which does not distinguish between Hamas terrorists and Palestinian civilians.
Voters angered by the conflict are unlikely to support Trump’s bid for a second non-consecutive term. He staunchly supported Israel as president — moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights and brokering diplomatic recognition from four Arab countries.
Independent left-wing presidential candidate Cornel West is campaigning against Biden’s position in the Gaza conflict, though he faces a challenge in securing ballot access.
Trump, 77, was snubbed by UAW leadership despite trying to woo the union’s members in the Midwest, including by arguing that Democratic attempts to mandate electric cars could hurt the industry.
The Biden Environmental Protection Agency last year proposed a requirement that 67% of new cars be electric by 2032.
Trump, who won the 2016 election in a stunning upset through victories in states such as Michigan, appeared in September at a non-union auto parts factory near Detroit while the UAW was on strike demanding benefit boosts and a 40% pay raise.
During that appearance, Trump urged UAW President Shawn Fain to endorse him over Biden, who also appeared on a union picket line during the strike.
“I will not allow, under any circumstances, the American auto industry to die. I want it to thrive,” Trump said. “Get your union leaders to endorse me, and I’ll take care of the rest.”
But Fain said Wednesday in his speech introducing Biden that “Donald Trump is a scab.”
When General Motors in 2019 closed its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant where 4,500 people had jobs, Trump “stood by and let it happen,” Fain said.
“Donald Trump is a billionaire and that’s who he represents,” added the UAW boss. “If Donald Trump ever worked in an auto plant, he wouldn’t be a UAW member — he’d be a company man trying to squeeze the American worker.”
In his own remarks, Biden attempted to redirect Trump’s criticism of pro-electric vehicle policies, saying the prior administration “was content to sit on the sidelines and let China take all these jobs. I won’t let that happen.”