Did an out-of-control Bill Clinton slap protester?

Democratic political professionals worry that former President Bill Clinton is “out of control” and “destroying his wife’s campaign” after he reportedly slapped a heckler at a rally in Ohio and got into a shouting match with another.

Party insiders tell Capitol Hill Blue that the former President’s hair-trigger temper is surfacing more and more as he campaigns for his wife and his actions are “detrimental to the party and the Senator.”

“We’re looking at a man out of control,” says one Clinton adviser. “He won’t stay on message and too often seems like a madman on stage. He has to be stopped or removed from the campaign.”

Sources say an angry and abusive Clinton routinely chews out campaign staffers and even members of his Secret Service detail.

Reports The Associated Press:

A Barack Obama supporter claims former President Bill Clinton slapped his face after he repeatedly heckled him during a speech in Ohio.

Robert Holeman made the allegation after he chanted Obama’s name as Clinton campaigned for his wife at a rally in Canton yesterday.

As soon as Clinton finished speaking, the Canton native darted to the ropeline to give Clinton a piece of his mind.

“This is the last hurrah. After March 4, Hillary Clinton will be out of the race for good, and Obama will take the commanding lead,” he said.

“She should back him with her delegates immediately. That’s what Im asking them to do,” Holeman heckled.

Holeman told MSNBC news that Clinton was “irate” and jabbed his finger at him. “I think he even hit me in the face with his hand,” he said. “He did give me a little pop.”

Clinton could be seen pointing at Holeman, but it was unclear whether there was any physical contact.

In Steubenville, Clinton got angry at another hecker. Reports The National Journal:

A frustrated Bill Clinton angrily raised his voice in response to heckling from pro-life protestors at a rally (in Steubenville tonight.

When protestors first held up signs reading “Abortion Kills Children,” the former president responded calmly, outlining his wife’s past policies to help children and mothers. But when interrupted a second time by a more vocal heckler, Clinton shouted in response and stabbed his finger at the protestor.

“I gave you the answer. We disagree with you,” he said impatiently. “You wanna criminalize women and their doctors, and we disagree.”

“If you were really pro-life, you would want to put every doctor and every mother as an accessory to murder in prison,” he continued, as the crowd applauded its support. “And you won’t say you wanna do that because you know that you wouldn’t have a lick of political support.”

“This is not your rally,” he concluded, still agitated. “I heard you. That’s another thing you need is a president, somebody who will stick up for individual rights and not be pushed around, and she won’t.”


  1. Flapsaddle

    A high level of frustration, I’m sure. This is probably due to the inescapable conclusion that the wheels are coming off of the Clinton White House Express.

    In all of his long political career, Bill Clinton has been able to avoid physical confrontation with opponents. An affable person who would have made a superb used-car salesman, Clinton’s unctuous manner has generally been an asset and has been a formidable tool in his success as the “Comeback Kid” and as the paramount fund-raiser for the Democratic party.

    But this is not what the Clinton’s envisaged for this stage of the campaign. By now, the supposedly pro forma caucuses and primaries were to have validated Hillary Clinton’s presumption that the nomination was already hers, and she would doubtlessly be working on the short list of VP selectees – perhaps even planning Inauguration Day functions – rather than trying to keep from sinking.

    Instead of advanced planning for the festivities, Clinton finds her campaign in a life-or-death fight with an upstart senator whose claim to fame is a rousing speech at the 2004 convention. She has suffered eight straight loses in primaries and caucuses, prominent endorsements going to her opponent, and – worst of all – money is beginning to evaporate.

    Her campaign has also suffered the interference of Bill Clinton, who clumsily played a race card and had the thing blow up in his face. Now, she has the problem that her spouse appears to be unable to control his temper – something that cannot be spun as anything other than a problem.

    Hillary Clinton had enough problems without Bill dropping this particular turd into the campaign punch-bowl.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  2. Wayne K Dolik

    Do you really want this guy in the Whitehouse who couldn’t keep his pants zipped up? Then the white trash moved to N.Y. Jeeze give me a break. America needs better than this. Nuff said.

  3. Alexandria Lupu

    I am extremely disappointed lately in the hate & misinformation spewed in Capitol Hill Blue about the Clintons, esp. the anti-feminism views on Hillary. I would ask that my name be taken off the mailing list, but I still want to see whatever else is published.
    Your rancor is not justified.

  4. JudyB

    I don’t believe for one minute Bill slapped anyone..if he had, he would have been arrested faster than anyone on this planet! As for the Clintons being mean and ugly people? Yes, I have heard they have tempers, but I have also read that every president has had temper issues, and the worst is said to be GWB and its all over the media that McCain has a doozy of a temper. Again, I don’t believe this guy was hit by anyone but it seems to me that people are out see if he will…that would cinch the deal of Clinton having an out of control temper. You cannot insult people and expect them to say calm.
    And Sandra, I have always shown you respect, but the other day when you said “a group of apes could have written the 10 commandments” and referred to God as “skydaddy” you insulted millions of believers and their God. That was insulting and not in any way necessary to make your point.

  5. sherry

    O good grief.
    It’s ok if you are for Obama. I forgive you.
    It’s one thing to say Clinton dressed down a heckler. Quite another to suggest he was punched.
    All this bad press may get you Obama as the nominee. However, by the time the Rove machine is done with him, he’s toast.
    I don’t care whether people like Bill Clinton, I just hate the rhetoric Obama inspires against him.
    Some day you will wake and smell the coffee. all to late, I fear

  6. Sandra Price

    Judy, I take abuse every day of my life because I am an Atheist. I was on the Board of Directors of a wonderful organization and when one of the other members read my web site, I was no longer allowed on the board. I was their marketing manager and did a very good job for 4 years. I get this crap even years ago when I was on Reader Rant.

    Judy, do you believe that everyone believes in God? There are over 55 million of us who do not! We are the fastest growing group of Americans since the days of when we were still a colony. Read Richard Dawkins and learn something about the rest of the people.

  7. tony12000

    On second thought….lol. They edited the title. May as well drop the article, because no one in the mainstream press is taking it seriously. And given their hatred of the Clintons, this should tell you something.

  8. adamrussell

    Though I support Obama over Hillary, I like the idea that a politician would talk back to hecklers. If the hecklers cant take it then they shouldnt be dishing it out.

  9. JudyB

    Sandra the answer to your question is no, I don’t think that everyone believes in God, nor do I expect them to. I do not however insult them. Personal choices and the freedom to believe as you want are our rights. If you have ever read anything I have written you should know that I have no problem with anyones race, religion or lack of it, sexual preference or their politics. I don’t advocate anyone else think as I do…I will speak out however when I see injustice,I know a law is or has been broken, against a crooked goverment or politician. Though it is legal,I will never think insults make a point. I cannot say that I have never insulted this President or (his henchmen) but I am sure I have not made any points by doing so, to those few who still have faith & trust in him.

  10. jimboz

    Your comment policy contains the clause “We do not allow our comments section to become propaganda platforms for candidates, causes or political parties and will remove any attempts at such activity”. Yet you publish crap like this article.

    Let me suggest that your group of commenters include right wing repugly trolls who spread their malicious crap about the Clintons. This garbage should have no place on your blog, nor should you be publishing crap like this article to promote their activities. I suppose you do it to gain traffic, but I believe your efforts are dishonest.

    Here’s a concept for which I would like to see some discussion. Note that I am not attacking Obama nor delving into the smarm swirling around his supposed involvement with Rezbo (sp) in Chicago and elsewhere. What I am questioning is this: assuming Obama’s being chosen as the Democratic presidential nominee, what happens when the bush department of justice indicts him two weeks before the presidential election. Right wing pundits have signaled their like of Obama. Can this be part of wingnut strategy? Shouldn’t we have a thorough investigation of Obama’s involvement, and government manipulation of the process of investigation, simply to protect against piece of shit wingnut efforts?

  11. Notanothermonday

    Clinton, the man, IS out of control. But I think he has become a frustrated old man. No one needs him now but his wife. Heckler’s are wherever there is a political rally these days and Mr. Bill is seeing something he never thought he would see …. the possibility of their loosing. Sociopath’s don’t like being disagreed with. I don’t usually do this, but here’s an excellent article:


    And, would there have been so many comments to this article if the above title was not so enticing?

  12. Doug Thompson

    The original headline was supposed to be a question but I guess I wrote it before my third cup of coffee in the morning (never a good thing). I added the question mark and then added a couple of other words to make sure it was phrased as a question.

    And when I wrote that I stand by the headline, I was referring to the headline as corrected.

    As for the “mainstream” press, MSNBC devoted most of their morning news to the issue and it was on their newscast a few minutes ago. CNN ran and reran the video clip more than a dozen times between 8 a.m. and noon.

    And you really don’t get more “mainstream” than the Associated Press.

  13. Doug Thompson

    Sorry for the delay in answering but I had to get over the laughing spell from the ludicrous claim that our columnist are, as you put it, “right wing repugly trolls.” I doubt that Hal, Phil or Rob — all normally accused of left wing leanings — would agree. I doubt that the Bush camp would think of me or any of them as members of their right wing cabal.

    We practice the age old motto of Finley Peter Dunne: It is the role of journalists to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” CHB has always existed to place the glare of scrutiny on all sides of the political scrutiny: Always has, always will. The fact that both sides stay pissed off at us tells me we are doing our job.

  14. keith

    Hillary Clinton had enough problems without Bill dropping this particular turd into the campaign punch-bowl.


  15. Doug Thompson

    Sherry, I’m not “for” anybody. We just call ’em as we see ’em. My feelings about the Democratic field were best summed up in a column last year when I wrote:

    As Hillary tries to prove she has more balls than her opponents and can be blacker than Obama and Obama tries to overcome the political liability of an unfortunate middle name and emerging skeletons from his closet, John Edwards sits down for high-priced haircuts and proves that trial lawyers really are scum of the earth while the rest of the Democratic field avoids straying from their consultant-prepared and focus-group-honed talking points.

    And don’t interpret that to mean I felt good about any of the Republicans. In that same column, I wrote:

    While Democrats seek political extinction through moderation and capitulation, Republicans, for the most part, stick with the same, tired, extremist agenda that alienates voters.

    GOP frontrunner Rudy Giuliani may avoid mentioning George W. Bush but he sounds a lot like Dubya. Democrats, he says, run and hide from terrorism and only he and the GOP can save America.

    John McCain, who may set a record in the speed that he drops from presumed frontrunner to actual also-ran, says war is the only answer.

    Mitt Romney says a lot of things – most of them contradictory. He may or may not be a hunter, depending on the day. He may or may not support abortion. Heck, he may or may not be a Republican.

    As for the rest of the field, who knows and who cares? Under George W. Bush’s tortured tenure, Republicans have become the party of excess, even fielding more candidates for President than the Democrats and suffering from more hot button issues: abortion, same-sex marriage, stem-cell research and the biggie: Bush’s illegal and immoral war in Iraq.

    Bringing up Ronald Reagan’s name 19 times won’t save the Republican Party. Drafting lawyer-actor-former Senator Fred Thompson won’t either.

    I wrote last week that I think Obama is a better candidate than Clinton. I stand by that assessment.

  16. Doug Thompson

    What hate? What rancor? What misinformation? What anti-feminism views? We raised a question based on a report from a mainstream news service and information from concerned sources within the Clinton campaign.

    We leave the hate to partisan web sites. Our rule here is that “if your mother says she loves you, confirm it with a second source.”

  17. neondog

    Hecklers aren’t everywhere…
    Republicons and pseudo libertarians, cordon off their hecklers in “free speech zones” about two blocks and 600 cops away from their politicians. You know just like the 1st Amendment intended.

    Hey, at least Bill Clinton can handle a heckler or two, knowing he is going to take an ink barrel lynching from a few punks behind a keyboard.

  18. wasincanton


    I was in Canton yesterday, about 15 yards from this “event” as it was occurring, watching it happen.

    At no time did ex-President Clinton hit the heckler.


    At no time did ex-President Clinton hit the heckler.

    Signing out,

  19. RelayerBob

    CHB is often a pretty good read, but you guys recently seem to keep leaning towards yellow journalism.

    Clinton clearly didn’t slap anyone, just watch the video on YouTube. It was crowded, so I suppose the guy thinks he can get away with his BS story, but obviously he forgot that almost everything shows up online these days. That someone is trying to get in the news should be old hat to you guys, but instead you jump on this with huge headlines (question mark or not) that will be remembered far longer than Clinton’s actual words or deeds. In fact, using Clinton’s words when upbraiding CNN for creating false controversy on an otherwise slow day: “Shame on you”.

    No sense in trying to form positive change when you can get more press with false negative reporting. What happened to your “advocacy group” anyway? I think we all know.

    Blacksburg, VA

  20. RelayerBob

    Yep, and all the MSM networks have removed the story and allegations, even including Faux News, who are reporting the verbal exchange but are not mentioning any physical contact.

    CHB, are you ready to demostrate you professionalism and retract your headline?

  21. SEAL

    When I opened the CHB site today I saw a headline that asked a question: Did Bill Clinton slap a protester. The headline was followed by a report of what several people had to say about Clinton, primarily that he was out of control and a detriment to Hillary’s campaign. Nowhere did I see the author’s personal opinion of anything. It was simply a news report.

    However, one poster took the position that the author had launched a personal attack on the Clintons and that he was guilty of irresponsile journalism and the issue erupted with that poster launching a heated attack upon the author.

    Considering the what the author had reported was essentially the same as the mainstream press it could hardly be considered a personal attack by the author. Obviously, it was simply something the person did not like to see. That leads me top believe that he/she must be a Clinton supporter because the article was such that Obama supporters would like it and Clinton supporters would not. The longer the raving went on, the more apparent it became that this was the case.

    The person who attacked Mr. Thompson was way out of line and absolutely wrong with all of his/her allegations. If you don’t like something in the news, you don’t attack the reporter. What good would that do? He is not responsible for what is or is not news. But what makes your actions so reprehensible is that you launched a personal attack upon the author himself. As I recall, personal attacks are not allowed at CHB. Very few sites do allow them. At the very least, you should be warned and placed on probation.

    Your anger should be directed at those in the report that made all the statements you do not like. There is where you should challenge the validity any “slapping” that may or may not have occured. No one at CHB can help you with that.

    Most of the CHB posters who will state a preference in this campaign favor Obama at this stage of the campaign. If you prefer Clinton, you are welcome to argue on her behalf as some of them do. But you cannot personally attack those who do not agree with you. If you do, you will only add to the convition so many have that Hillary and Bill clinton should not be elected president.

  22. rury

    Bill has behaved erratically recently, turning beet-red and blowing up at people, jabbing Chris Wallace in the knee during an interview a few months ago.
    He IS out of control.
    That’s another reason not to vote for Hillary…she needs to stay at home and take care of her husband who may very well be devolving into some sort of mental illness!!

    GO OBAMA!!

  23. mary cali


    Someone who passes judgement on others as harshly as you do really needs to be extra scrupulous. I am not buying that your previous headline was a result of not having enough coffee. Please!! It comes under the dog ate my home work category. All of which reduces your credibility.

  24. neondog

    If you had bothered to read the “complete” thread prior to your diatribe, you could have saved yourself such a long winded and misguided response.

    Doug modified the original CHB headlines that “stated” Bill Clinton had slapped a heckler. Doug edited both the wording and added a question mark to clarify the head-line later on in the morning.

    Before you go off and start calling for “censorship and banishment” from the kingdon of CHB you should read and reflect, not just react.

  25. Walt Berger

    I am amazed Mr. Holeman didn’t end up on the receiving end of a pop to the beak for real. Also amazed that he didn’t end up with a few SS knees in his back while being cuffed. Mr. Holeman can dish it out but whines away when Bill Clinton showed uncommon restraint.

    The pro life hecklers couldn’t have been handled better by Bill. He made me proud.

    The demonization process of the Clintons is an outrage. If a man was handling their campaign in this manner, they would probably be called one tough SOB. Hillary just gets called a bitch. America can’t handle a female candidate anymore than a male ethnic candidate and that remains to be seen come the General election. That is sad. For a man who exited the White House with the fanfare and admiration that he did, it is confounding to see the hatred being touted and selectively spewed by some segments of the media.

  26. Sandra Price

    This is not a surprise to me as I have read many books on the tantrums in the White House during the Clinton years. They are an angry and ugly couple.

  27. neondog

    A morning dump on the Clintons? Who writes the headlines on CHB, NewsMax?

    Bias and hype to attack the Clintons, nothing new from CHB. Same old boring ass political attacks from the Clinton haters.

    “The Clintons are angry and ugly”?….straight up RUDE & HATEFUL.

  28. keith

    Bias and hype to attack the Clintons, nothing new from CHB. Same old boring ass political attacks from the Clinton haters. “The Clintons are angry and ugly”?….straight up RUDE & HATEFUL

    Neondog, it would appear that the only “rude and hateful” behavior in all of this is coming from Mr. Clinton, not CHB!

    And CHB has not been the only journal that is reporting this latest boorish outburst on the part of Mr. Clinton. If those in control of “Hillaryland” would prefer not to see such reports, then all they have to do is reign in the former President.

    What’s more, such “out of line” public behavior on the part of the former President is also nothing new. Mr. Clinton performed in a similar fashion in New Hampshire, Nevada and then again in South Carolina. Leopards don’t change their spots.

    However, as he is the ONLY reason Mrs. Clinton is even on the ballot, it would appear that the Clintons are now caught between the proverbial “rock and a hard place”.

    That is, Mrs. Clinton simply can’t win the nomination WITHOUT her husband’s name recognition. And, based on Mr. Clinton’s increasingly boorish performances, it is looking like they can’t win WITH him either. His presence in the campaign is clearly becoming more and more of a political liability.

    It is also ironic that all of this boorish behavior is coming from the self-professed “experienced” candidate(s) who supposedly know how to effectively handle such “tough” questioning from their opponents.

    By any measure, such “eruptions” from her husband…wherever and however they are reported…are not doing Hillary any favors in the run-up to the Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania primaries.

  29. Steve Horn

    If this is true then I would suspect that the Clinton campaign has run out of ideas as well as money, as that’s typically when normally rational people resort to violent outbursts.

  30. Elmo

    Holeman told MSNBC news that Clinton was “irate” and jabbed his finger at him. “I think he even hit me in the face with his hand,” he said. “He did give me a little pop.”

    This is a long way from slapping someone in the face. Stories like this belong in the NY Post or on Faux News.

  31. Doug Thompson

    The lead of the AP story on the incident said:

    A Barack Obama supporter claims former President Bill Clinton slapped his face after he repeatedly heckled him during a speech in Ohio.

    The headline was intended as a question but the question mark was left off in the original version. I corrected it and stand by it the headline as intended.

  32. mary cali

    Tabloid journalism what we would expect from Robert Murdoch. I don’t say that as an avid supporter or Bill either, because I am not.
    But the description in the story does not match the emotional headlines.

  33. Doug Thompson

    The Associated Press story raised the question that Bill Clinton may have struck the protester. We simply asked the question and used that question to probe into the concern that is mounting in the Clinton camp.

  34. tony12000

    Wow, I thought the rightwing were the only nutcases out there. But this website has proven me wrong. So, a guy interrupts a speech and then lunges toward the stage afterwards, and he is credible enough that you say the president actually “slapped” him. Yeah, no wonder this is some obscure website. With “reporting” like this, hopefully it will remain that way. This is irresponsible. The fact that you “stand by” this misleading headline is even worse.

  35. tony12000

    Another thing — How can someone be trusted who says this:

    “I THINK he even hit me in the face with his hand….”

    UM, The former president of the USA slaps you in the face, and you can only “think” that he did it? This guy is totally high and derainged from drinking Obama’s kool-aid and watching the Will I. Am video on repeat since it first came out. PATHETIC.

  36. erade

    e raderman

    what would good old george w have done at the first peep from a heckler. i’m more than, quite, sure he’d have had the heckler muscled out by his police brigade.

    i would KNOW if anyone poked me in the face. i wouldn’t think it might HAVE HAPPENED.

  37. pollchecker

    This is just another example of why we don’t need the Clinton’s back in the WH.

    Look I admire and respect both the Clintons for the service they have given to our country. But like a very large percentage of the American people, I don’t want to be continually distracted from the real issues by Bill Clinton’s antics and his wife’s reaction to them.

    We need someone whose name is not Bush or Clinton to occupy the office so the country can move forward and do the hard work needed to repair the massive damage GW has done to our country.

  38. tony12000

    No, pollchecker — this is an example of why the intellect in this country is in the toilet. People believe everything they read, without any criticial examination. This title is clearly misleading, but you launch into some diatribe about the Clintons. Obama is not going to move us anywhere except to la la land. Actually, he won’t even have the chance because McCain will cream him.

  39. Sandra Price

    “They are an angry and ugly couple.”

    These are my words, not Doug’s. They are true and come from a number of books I have read on the couple.

  40. neondog

    If CHB was reporting “boorish” behaviour, I would not have questioned the headline. CHB is pro-claiming that Bill Clinton slapped someone in the face, which was clearly not the case.

  41. keith

    Dude: If CHB was reporting “boorish” behaviour, I would not have questioned the headline. CHB is pro-claiming that Bill Clinton slapped someone in the face, which was clearly not the case.

    Well, “Dude”…it would appear that the REST of the mainstream press (particularly the Associated Press who first generated the “face slapping” element of the story) is standing by their assertion.

    What’s more, if, as you say, it is “clearly not the case”, that Mr. Clinton did anything wrong, then why has the Clinton camp yet to demand an apology? Or, if the story IS untrue, then why have the mainstream press agencies (MSNBC, AP, et al) responsible for the initial story yet to offer one?

    CHB is only repeating what multiple “someone elses” have already reported. So, please stop trying to shoot the messenger(s).

    Clearly, Mr. Clinton owns the problem here. If he’s been truly wronged and his actions have been misreported, then he needs to ask for (and he absolutely should receive) an apology. Neither of those actions have yet to happen.

    But, regardless of the rightness or wrongness of the incident (or who slapped (or didn’t slap) who), it would appear that Mr. Clinton still needs to SERIOUSLY consider cleaning up his act.

  42. Elmo

    So, if I understand you, you’re falling back on the old “I didn’t think, I just repeated it” excuse. Your old boss Paul Findlay wouldn’t have done that when he ran The Pike Press nor would Al Seiler when he did. This isn’t journalism and it ill-becomes you to claim it is.

    Find a good reason to slam Slick Willie — there isn’t any shortage.

  43. Doug Thompson


    What the head did was raise the question of whether or not Clinton struck a protestor. The AP story says the heckler said he was hit. Other stories quote him as saying he might have been struck.

    However, the point of our story is that the former President is losing control of his composure and that loss of control is a growing concern in the Clinton camp.

  44. neondog

    Damn Doug…..If you would use a bit of bleach before that “spin out” you’d get alot more traction and blow a hell of lot more smoke….


  45. pollchecker

    “This title is clearly misleading, but you launch into some diatribe about the Clintons.”

    I didn’t launch into anything except to point out that this is the type of thing we can continually expect to hear about if Hillary is the nominee.

    I read the article and didn’t even initially commnet until all this diatribe on the comments section began.

    Unfortunately I don’t have a crystal ball to be able to predict what the future would be like with Obama as the nominee, but if history is a valid predictor of future behaviour, it is highly unlikely that Hillary will do anything but continue the political polarization that we’ve seen since in the past. I do not believe that is what the majority of Americans are looking for.

    As to whether or not McCain creams him, I believe that Senator’s McCain’s votes and positions are perfectly clear as to where he stands on all the issues. He will not be able to talk his way out of his past record without becoming a flip flopper. But since that is not what this thread is about, I will quit with that being said.