A steady stream of Texas Rep. Ron Paul's supporters walked out of a planned tribute for Donald Rumsfeld at CPAC Thursday afternoon. The walk-out had been planned ahead of time in part by Campaign for Liberty organizers and it seemed to be supported by more than 100 CPAC attendees.
The former defense secretary was also booed when took to the stage. There seemed to be a back-and-forth between Paul supporters and other CPAC attendees trying to drown each other out while Rumsfeld watched.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney then took the stage, but the heckling did not stop in what was an amazing display of friction. Someone in the crowd yelled to Cheney above the din "draft dodger." Nonetheless, the crowd is overwhelmingly warm to Rumsfeld, who eventually took his place in the presentation.
Things should have been nice and chummy at CPAC an hour ago. Dick Cheney strolled on stage to cheers and the inspirational tune of Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” and got began to present the “Defender Of The Constitution” award to Donald Rumsfeld. However, as the chants of “USA! USA!” died down, a voice screaming “War criminal!” could be heard. And then, as Cheney continued to talk up his former colleague, a shouting match began between supporters of Ron Paul and the rest of the convention hall.
The Paul supporters eventually walked out in the middle of Rumsfeld’s speech as way of protest. Talking Points Memo managed to nab a quote from one of them: