Former President Bill Clinton’s remarks toward a group of Black Lives Matter protesters on Thursday quickly stirred up criticism among Twitter users.
While promoting his wife Hillary Clinton’s run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, he accused the demonstrators of misconstruing his 1994 crime bill, saying they were “defending the people who kill the lives you say matter.”
“I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped on crack and sent them out on the street to murder other African-American children,” he said. “Maybe you thought they were good citizens. [Hillary Clinton] didn’t.”
While some critics quickly accused him of racism:
Others reached back into his record to highlight what they described as hypocrisy on his part:
Bill Clinton hasn't dropped bombs like that since Kosovo in 1996 pic.twitter.com/FLW52T7X6W
— JC in Calgary (@jrbcameron) April 7, 2016
That allegation stemmed from a conversation Clinton reportedly had with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in 2008, saying that then-Sen. Barack Obama — who was running against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination — “would have been carrying our bags” just a few years earlier.
Some online hecklers expanded their criticism to include not only CNN host Don Lemon:
But the former secretary of state’s current opponent for the nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT):
But Clinton did see some support from other Democratic backers: