December 11th, 2007
03:57 PM ET
7 years ago

Bill Clinton heckled by 'robot'

Watch Bill Clinton's speech get interrupted.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Bill Clinton has dealt with his fair share of hecklers over the years, but on Monday night he faced off with his first robot.

Or, more specifically, a man dressed like a robot.

In the middle of a speech on behalf of wife Hillary Clinton in Iowa City, Iowa, a young man clad in a dark metallic-like suit - with a helmet to boot - stood on a chair and interrupted the former president’s remarks.

"Bill Clinton, I want you to apologize to Sister Souljah," the man yelled in a robot-like voice. "Robots of the world want you to apologize to Sister Souljah. We want you to apologize."

The would-be robot’s act didn't end there. He started throwing colored pieces of paper around the room, prompting the former president to respond, "You need to find more environmentally responsible ways to protest than throwing grafiiti around."

The heckler's comment was referring to then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton's 1992 public criticism of black rapper Sister Souljah for saying "If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people." In a now-famous campaign moment, Clinton called the comments racist during a speech before the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition.


Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Jaik , chicago, IL

    That's not newsworthy

    December 11, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Another nut fell out of the fruitcake.

    December 11, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Why is it that all the loony protesters and plants come from the left?

    December 11, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. David, Fairfax, VA

    I wonder why this guy wasn't taken away and tasered? He was being disruptive and more or less totally pointless. I can't even remember the incident in 1992 and it seems very far down on the list of significant things Bill Clinton has done, good or bad.

    Unless there's some strange context to the statement that Sister Souljah made... it is definitely rather racist and I don't see anything wrong with him calling it out as such.

    December 11, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. David, Fairfax, VA

    Okay, so I actually went and researched the context of what she said... and it isn't so much racist as it is illogical. Her statement was about how blacks die in gang violence everyday and thus it is not unreasonable to expect that the same gangs would, from time to time, bring violence to the white community.

    But why she said that and what she intends that to justify is somewhat beyond me. First, we don't do anything about the gang violence because it is difficult to fix and its gang member on opposing gang member, generally. She goes on to say that its just a reflexive response, if you killed my mother, I would kill you, but the underlying assumption, that the white people who were killed by blacks (in the Rodney King incident particularly) didn't do anything to blacks... and certainly didn't the kill anyone's mother. So, her statements are unfounded, and if not directly racist, at the very least bogus.

    December 11, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Kurt

    Why would Clinton need to apologize for calling a racist comment racist?

    December 11, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Richard,Derry, NH

    Talk of desperation and non news...Talk of a plant. Kinda used to this sheet from Clintons!

    December 11, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. Steve, New York

    that’s it... people are dieing in Iraq, bush has spat on the US Constitution and broke how many laws... and this is on the front page of cnn?

    December 11, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Brian, SLC, UT

    Having watched the video, I thought the most bizarre and humorous thing was not this robot guy, but instead a comment I heard on the video from a lady in the audience who said Bill had nothing to apologize for and had done so much for his country. Now THAT made me laugh!

    December 11, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Nando, Palm Coast,FL

    This is What Hillary and Bill do, They rally all the WAKO"s They just have BAD KARMA! THE WORLD IS LAUGING AT THIS COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 11, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. Steve in SC

    Looks like we have our first candidate for Hillary health care!

    December 11, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Richard Lee Nevada

    Clinton, go ahead! Just ignore those who are trying to stop you from being President. They are dirt!
    We love you and lots of people love you! We know you have done a lot for the country. You are great!

    December 11, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Sugahwafuhs, Morgantown, WV

    Since when did Rip Taylor hit the campaign circuit?

    December 11, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Nancy Falconer, New York

    Why that Robot can not show his face? Too ugly?

    December 11, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Tom Dedham, Mass

    When I read the headline about Bill being heckled by a robot, I thought they meant Hillarity.

    My bad.

    This was one of the few times Bill was totally correct and truthful.

    December 11, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  16. Ken, Boston MA

    Ha! You let 'em have it, Bill!

    Clinton/Clinton '08

    December 11, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. Don Ks, KS

    That was 1992 – what happen – is the robot running "Vista"?
    Maybe you should wait another 15 years to report it.

    December 11, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. P Don, Sarasota, FL

    Posted By Anonymous : Why is it that all the loony protesters and plants come from the left?

    What is the right's fascination with mens bathrooms? Three repubs and counting so far this year alone.

    And those are just the one's that got caught.

    December 11, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. J

    "Why is it that all the loony protesters and plants come from the left?"

    What makes you think he comes from the left? He's heckling someone on the left, correct?

    "First, we don't do anything about the gang violence because it is difficult to fix and its gang member on opposing gang member, generally."

    It's difficult to fix so we don't do "anything". Good reasoning..."Nah that's too hard...lets not do anything"

    "She goes on to say that its just a reflexive response, if you killed my mother, I would kill you, but the underlying assumption, that the white people who were killed by blacks (in the Rodney King incident particularly) didn't do anything to blacks"

    So you are saying because, in one case, white people didn't kill blacks that it never happens?
    Are you saying that white people don't ever seek revenge unless the killer was non-black?
    What exactly are you saying?

    December 11, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. theo, Manorville, ny

    I'm surprised Al Gore didn't come in after Bill's comment and pick up all the paper. Of course, we would then have to hear how much he is doing for the environment

    December 11, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. KEITH JAMES LOUTTIT

    That's not newsworthy
    Posted By Jaik , chicago, IL : December 11, 2007 3:47 pm ?????

    Well maybe its not great breaking news, it is great information. It tickles my bones to have this kind of wild off the beat, humanizing, mocking sarcasm of the Power That Be!!!

    I got a good laugh!!!

    December 11, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. Minneapolis

    Maybe the person was a "Ron Paul Bot"??

    December 11, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Los Angeles

    Do we need to pass the baton back to the Clinton's? We're big, we're diverse, we are the USA... so really, do we need to go to the Bush/Clinton well once more? Enough is enough. Let's move away, and quickly, from these two good for almost nothing dynasties.

    December 11, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. anonymous

    This is news?

    What happened to the Bush/Iran issue, concerning Bush's lying to the American people (again)?

    Just this morning on American Morning was a news story about some stupid monkey and its owner.... Hello? There are wars in Afghanistan and Iraq! There's a liar in the White House! There's corruption in the government!

    All of the junk on this website and on CNN television is making me believe that CNN is all part of this grand conspiracy to undermine the freedom of the American people. CNN = CIA News Network

    December 11, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. Erik, Austin TX

    Wow, referencing an incident from 15 years ago. At least the guy keeps his comedy fresh!

    December 11, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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