Obama's fans held signs that thanked him for his policies against “hate” and “warmongering,” while his critics blasted him as pro-abortion, pro-socialism, pro-debt and pro-wealth redistribution.
“Obama is a socialist,” one elderly, white-haired woman told reporters. “I want him to stop taking our hard-earned money and giving to other people. We work hard for what we have. It's not fair.”
But Alice Apkarian, 55, was happy with Obama's OC trip.
“We just want to show that Orange County isn't the monolith everybody thinks it is,” she told the Weekly.
Laura Dietz believes Obama needs to be removed from power because
she supports “freedom from government interference–interference with
my personal life. It's unconstitutional.”
Dietz added, “My rights do not come from the government. According to the Founding Fathers, they come from the Almighty.”
Nearby, a leather-skinned granny rocking a red, white and blue stove pipe hat and standing next to a white Mercedes wasn't happy with a couple Obama supporters–a college-aged woman and her male companion.
“You guys are so dumb. You're socialists, socialists, socialists!” she yelled.
A middle-aged Latino woman brought a huge sign: “Where's the birth certificate?”
Elsewhere in the crowd, a contingency of pro-marijuana protesters with the Greater Orange County Collectives Alliance held signs and said they are determined to “remove the stigma” about pot smoking.
As you would expect, the scene was loaded with journalists and seven television news trucks.
An unamused KTLA reporter lectured an anti-Obama protester who accused him of only interviewing liberals.
The Secret Service and Newport Beach police kept the crowd far from the president's motorcade. Within 10 minutes of reports that Obama had arrived, the crowds thinned.
After his OC event, the president is scheduled to fly early this afternoon to San Francisco.
(Brandon Ferguson contributed to this report.)
–R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his "herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.