Ex-President Bill Clinton got into a heated confrontation with a man who identified himself as a U.S. Marine during a campaign appearance yesterday in Bluffton, South Carolina.
The all-important South Carolina primary for the Democrats, in which front-runner Hillary Clinton squares off against Bernie Sanders, is today.
“Clinton was interrupted by the protester while he was discussing his experiences during 9/11, part of a speech he was giving for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign,” CNN reported.
Hillary Clinton was not present at this particular get-out-the-vote rally.
The as-yet unidentified Marine sergeant, who claimed he served two tours in Iraq over the course of eight years of active duty, began the exchange with Bill Clinton about problems with VA healthcare but then switched gears to Benghazi.
Bill Clinton thanked him for his service, and to his credit, the 42nd president asked the vet what he thought should be done about the VA. That’s when the discussion went into an entirely different direction.
Terrorists murdered four Americans — Ambassador Christopher Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALS Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods — on September 11, 2012, at the Benghazi, Libya, U.S. embassy compound, prompting numerous investigations.
U.S. officials, including Hillary Clinton when she met with the victims’ families at the Andrews Air Force Base memorial service, originally blamed the attack on protests over an obscure anti-Islam YouTube video rather than a terrorist attack, a storyline that has since been discredited. The former Secretary of State now attributes the confusion about what happened to the fog of war.
At the rally which appears to have taken place in a gym, Bill Clinton’s interlocutor added that he was a former Marine drill instructor at Parris Island, and then said, “The thing is, we had four lives in Benghazi killed, and your wife tried to cover it up.” See clip embedded below.
The crowd of Clinton supporters expressed its disapproval. “The protester and his comments immediately drew boos from many in the crowd of around 500 packed into the Bluffton Recreation Center,” the Belleville News-Democrat reported.
As the man continued to shout at Clinton about Benghazi, the former president responded in a raspy voice.
“I heard your speech. They heard your speech. You listen to me now…Am I allowed to answer? I’m not your commander in chief anymore but if I were, I’d tell you to be more polite and sit down.”
— LushGrub (@LushGrub) February 27, 2016
“That’s a pretty convenient thing to say to a hero with three officers around him pushing him away. It shows a continuing narrative by all politicians to keep the focus off pressing issues for vets like the VA or Benghazi. This isn’t new however. As we’ve told you in the past, the families of the Benghazi victims have long maintained that Hillary Clinton promised them answers and access, yet they got the exact opposite, leaving them feeling heartbroken,” American Military News insisted.
— Philadelphia central (@epeakphilly) February 27, 2016
As sheriff’s deputies began escorting the Marine out of the venue, President Clinton added the following.
“Do you have the courage to listen to my answer? Don’t throw him out. Shut up and listen to my answer. I’ll answer it…That’s what’s wrong: His mind has been poisoned by lies, and he won’t listen.”
When things started calming down, a woman — to the further dismay of the audience who tried to shout her down — jumped up and yelled at President Clinton, “Hillary lied over four coffins…She lied and she lied to those families. So all those families are liars?”
Bill Clinton again asked for a chance to answer, but deputies were already hustling the second Benghazi protester out of the room. It’s unclear if he ever actually answered the question, other than denying that his wife lied with a flat “no.”
“This came the same day the State Department released another 1,500 pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails, which critics have also sought to make an issue for her presidential campaign,” CNN added in its coverage of the Bill Clinton confrontation with the Benghazi protesters in South Carolina.
[Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP]