Former president Bill Clinton half-apologized Friday to Black Lives Matter protesters after he got into a divisive exchange at a rally Thursday.
“Now I like and believe in protests. I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t, ’cause I engaged in some when I was a kid,” Clinton said in a speech at Penn State Behrend Friday, amid pushback on his fiery back-and-forth with protesters Thursday.
“But I never thought I should drown anybody else out. And I confess, maybe it’s just a sign of old age, but it bothers me now when that happens,” he said.
“So I did something yesterday in Philadelphia. I almost want to apologize for it, but I want to use it as an example of the danger threatening our country,” Clinton said.
“I rather vigorously defended my wife, as I am wont to do, and I realized, finally, I was talking past [the protester] the way she was talking past me. We gotta stop that in this country. We gotta listen to each other again,” Clinton continued.
“I know those young people yesterday were just trying to get good television and they did. But that doesn’t mean that I was most effective in answering it,” Clinton added.
Clinton’s confrontation with protesters Thursday over his signing of the 1994 crime bill that increased incarceration is currently getting play on cable television.