Michele Bachmann is no stranger to being heckled on the campaign trail — she has faced down glitter bombers and an 8-year-old boy in a bookstore — but this one was of a different make and model.
A self-described “gay robot” stopped by a Bachmann appearance in Iowa City on Thursday.
“I am a gay robot,” the man said, according to the Iowa City Patch. “I oppose Bachmann’s position on gays, whether they are human or robot.” He was booed and asked to leave the event.
The man behind the mask is Kembrew McLeod, an associate professor at the University of Iowa. He also heckled Bill Clinton in 2007, when the former president was campaigning in Iowa City for his wife, Hillary. McLeod told TPM that a random heckler shouting at a candidate isn’t especially noteworthy. But a robot shouting at a candidate ensures that the message will be heard. His motivation?
“I’ve been really distraught by the mean-spirited rhetoric” among the Republican candidates, McLeod told TPM. He didn’t say much more to Bachmann — he did, however, call her a “robophobe.”
McLeod’s robotic alter ego might pop up again before the Jan. 3 caucuses, he said, “if the circumstances are right.”
As the Patch site reports, other demonstrators attended the event, which was held at a restaurant. Some of the demonstrators identified with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Watch a video of McLeod at the event:
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com