“We love you, babe,” the first lady shouted back. “We really do.”
As the heckler continued on unintelligibly because of the din of the crowd trying to shush her, Obama kept talking.
“We have so many issues,” she said, as the protester continued to yell.
“I hear you sweetie. I will wait and let you finish,” Obama said, looking out into the crowd. “I’m going to wait and let you finish, babe. I hear every word you’re saying.”
The rest of the crowd, which Obama described as “lively,” began chanting “four more years!” for Malloy. The protester quieted and Obama continued her standard campaign speech.
"We’re here because we know things are starting to get better because of your president and because of leaders like Governor Malloy," she said.
When another member of the crowd again shouted out to Obama, she maintained her composure and laughed a little at the “participatory rally” and jokingly invited the speakers to “come up here.”
It was unlike the uncomfortable confrontation that Obama had in 2013 while raising money for the Democratic party. When a LGBT activist yelled at Obama during a speech before donors at a home in Washington, D.C., the first lady threatened to leave.
“One of the things that I don’t do well is this,” she said to applause from most of the guests at that fundraiser. “Do you understand? … listen to me or you can take the mike, but I'm leaving. You all decide. You have one choice."
On Thursday, Obama was more charitable to the activists in the crowd who wanted to be heard during her remarks. She was in a packed high school gym. The bleachers were full and the gym floor filled with excited Democrats, local elected officials and an unknown number of immigrant rights protesters, who interrupted her three or four times, but were allowed to remain at the rally.
“There is passion there but see what we have to do it turn this passion into work,” she said, shifting back to her turn-out-the-vote speech.
Tashi Sanchez-Llaury, one of the protesters, later that she and a friend attended the rally not to "heckle her. We were just here to ask her to sympathize."
Sanchez-Llaury, who lives in Stamford and is part of Connecticut Students for the Dream, said her friend yelled out that she is a "dreamer" and "lives in constant fear that her mother will be deported." Sanchez-Llaury herself yelled out that she was attending the rally with the mother of a "dreamer."
Both Sanchez-Llaury and her friend were escorted out of the rally when they began yelling.
Outside the high school, they held up signs reading "broken promises" and "broken families" and said they were trying to encourage the Obama administration to issue a more expansive executive action to aid undocumented immigrants and their families.