In a surprising breach of normal etiquette, President Barack Obama’s Rose Garden remarks on Friday were interrupted by heckling from reporter Neil Munro of the website Daily Caller, where conservative commentator Tucker Carlson is the editor-in-chief.
Obama, announcing a change of policy that would allow the children of illegal immigrants to avoid deportation if they meet certain criteria, was interrupted mid-speech by Munro.
“Why’d you favor foreigners over Americans?” Munro shouted.
“Excuse me, sir, but it’s not time for questions,” Obama responded.
“Are you going to take questions?” Munro asked.
“Not while I’m speaking.” Obama said.
While it’s not unusual for Obama to be interrupted by occasional hecklers at big public events, the fact that a reporter brought Obama’s speech to complete halt startled members of the White House press corp.
Obama, who generally ignores shouted questions from reporters at the end of press events, later addressed Munro’s question after finishing his remarks uninterrupted.
“In answer to your question, sir — and the next time I’d prefer you’d let me finish my statement before you ask that question — is this is the right thing to do for the American people,” Obama told Munro.
Mobbed by reporters after the event, Munro was asked if he would give his name.
“Yeah, but you’ll misspell it,“ he said.
Munro, according to his Twitter bio, has worked as a reporter for Defense News, Washington Technology and the National Journal.
“As a general matter, reporters are there to ask [questions],” Carlson told The New York Times’s Brian Stelter. Carlson did not immediately respond to a question from POLITICO. The Daily Caller’s account later tweeted that the organization was ‘proud’ of Munro.
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