Former President Bill Clinton had a tense and prolonged exchange with Black Lives Matter protesters at a Hillary Clinton campaign event today in Philadelphia.
“I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack, sent them out onto the street to murder other African-American children,” Clinton said, addressing protesters holding signs that read (among others), “Black youth are not super predators.”
“Maybe you thought they were good citizens, she didn’t,” Clinton continued, defending his wife’s use of the phrase “super predators” in a 1996 speech. “She didn’t. You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter. Tell the truth. You are defending the people who cause young people to go out and take guns.”
Former President Clinton is no stranger to protesters when he is on the campaign trail for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; however today, the majority of his speech was spent engaging with them.
“I like protesters, but the ones that won’t let you answer are afraid of the truth,” said Clinton. “In every campaign rally I welcome a protester.”
Protesters continued to interrupt the former president, calling into question welfare reform and prolonged prison sentencing.
Clinton continued to advocate for his wife, saying she was the first candidate in this election cycle to say, “Let’s get these people who did non-violent offenses out of prison.” He also mentioned that President Obama was working to do the same.
Black Lives Matter protesters have made a point to protest both GOP and Democratic candidates since the early days of the election cycle and have met with many of the presidential candidates, including Hillary Clinton.
During the summer, Bill Clinton admitted that his crime bill worsened the criminal justice system with increased sentencing. “I signed a bill that made the problem worse,” said Clinton at the NAACP’s annual meeting in July, also in Philadelphia. “And I want to admit it.”