Bachmann Encounters 'Gay Robot,' Hecklers in Liberal Iowa City

Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann met a raucous crowd at Hamburg Inn No. 2 in Iowa City on Thursday. Police were called in to keep the peace.

By now the GOP presidential candidates have seen it all: hecklers, protesters, haters of all shapes and sizes. Well, mostly all.

On Thursday afternoon in Iowa City, Michele Bachmann encountered a man dressed in a robot suit, who shouted her down with the aid of a built-in megaphone. He called himself, "roboprof," and was booed and quickly asked to leave Hamburg Inn No. 2, where Bachmann made the campaign stop.

"I am a gay robot. I oppose Bachmann's position on gays, whether they are human or robot," said the man, who declined to give his name, although he admitted to being the same robot who heckled Bill Clinton at the University of Iowa in 2007.

Patch has from the event.

At that time, the person in the robot suit was revealed to be Kembrew McLeod, a communications professor at the .

Bachmann swept through the popular diner in about 20 minutes, shaking hands, signing autographs and taking pictures, but made no statements and did not comment to the media. The restaurant was packed to the brim with well over 100 people — both supporters and plenty of opponents. The lack of support was not altogether surprising in the liberal enclave.

Police were called, and four officers arrived towards the end of the visit to help keep the peace in the raucous crowd.

A group of Occupy Iowa City protesters tried to shout over the noise of the eatery while Bachmann was there.

"Michele Bachmann will fix the economy by laying off workers and cutting their pay. Michele Bachmann fights proudly for marriage unless the couple happens to be gay," about 15 people scattered around the restaurant said. "You're not wanted here. You're not wanted here so go, just go."

"We think the electoral process and our politicians are flawed. We are speaking against politicians in general. Bachmann is just today's example," said Eva Roethler, 24, of Iowa City, who was among the people who spoke out.

According to the Hamburg, the campaign brought in music and speakers, which were cranked up to drown out protesters. Supporters, some of whom who were seen later on the Bachmann tour bus, chimed in saying "We love you, Michele," and "You are our next president." A previous version of this story incorrectly attributed the loud music to the restaurant.

"She is the only one I can trust. We feel she is the most conservative," said Michael Clark, 70, of Coralville, who attended with his wife, Myra, 56.

The Minnesota Congresswoman has been campaigning heavily in Eastern Iowa of late. She stopped made 10 stops on Wednesday, including , and had 10 more stops on the books for today.

Bachmann is languishing in the polls. In the most recent poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers by Iowa State University/Gazette/KCRG poll, Bachmann had 7.4 percent of the support, which was good enough for fifth place behind Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, respectively.

Currently, only and have visited this caucus season. Hamburg Inn has gained a national reputation as a stopping point for political candidates. The restaurant has reached out to all of candidates, but the lack of Republican visits is understandable given Iowa City is heavily Democrat.

Bachmann also came to Iowa City this summer and at Hamburg's competitor, the .

Chase Monstaire December 24, 2011 at 07:35 PM
Yes, off to Walmart! But first I must sit down in front of my television to receive my latest brainwash update from FOX News!
ARL December 24, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Grammar, please! "... but the lack of Republican visits is understandable given Iowa City is heavily Democrat." I think you mean 'Democratic.' That is an _adjective_. The "Democrat" mis-use is a republican attempt to be demeaning. (I'm not sure it works.) Mis-using the "Democrat" noun for the appropriate "Democratic" adjective shows that this article is either biased or written by someone who lacks basic grammar. Please fix.
brea cairo December 24, 2011 at 08:26 PM
I'm so sick of the gays too. They're not this country's moral backbone, being against gays does not make you a biggot or intolerant. It shows that you have basic values. Homosexuality is a disgusting and immoral sexual choice. They're not born a certain way and they're not oppressed. I applaud Bachman and Santorum for speaking out, I wish more political leaders would do the same. For the youth especially this is sad, they think this is they're great moral calling. It's sick and sad.
Grant MacDonald December 24, 2011 at 08:44 PM
www.BogusHocusPocus.com It is written; so therefore it shall be? We are the chosen people -- such a wicked fantasy. To see the religious lunatics manipulate government and our lives is shameful.
Vint Mac December 24, 2011 at 08:56 PM
No doubt one or both of the posters using the names Randy Crawford and brea cairo are "god fearing" Christians. How else to explain their hatred of fellow humans? They label them "homosexuals", rather than fellow humans, because it's easier to objectify and hate -- and even injure or kill -- them in that regard. Even worse, they're certain the historical figure known to them as Jesus Christ would approve of their intolerance and hate, all because of the sexuality of another human (I'm sure he also would've approved of racial intolerance, or the "final solution" used in by Nazis in WWII -- right?).
Lexi December 24, 2011 at 10:47 PM
@Conrad Weis: I understand that you're somewhat illiterate, but the fact that Stephany R Hoffelt is quoting the Hamburg Inn's managers and not expressing her own views is plainly obvious. Notice the quotation marks. If you want to complain about how the police were called to shut down Bachmann's disruption in a private establishment, take it up with the the owners, not the person who is merely stating facts about it.
Lexi December 24, 2011 at 10:48 PM
I sure hope that's sarcasm, because I don't want to believe you're that thuggish and ignorant.
Lexi December 24, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Wait, he doesn't have the freedom to protest in his time off? I think I need an updated version of the Constitution. Where'd you get yours?
Lexi December 24, 2011 at 10:55 PM
Also, your characterizations of a "homosexual mafia" are obvious signs of paranoid schizophrenia. I suggest you seek psychiatric treatment.
Lexi December 24, 2011 at 10:56 PM
Lexi December 24, 2011 at 11:01 PM
@randy crawford: Michelle Bachmann was the one that the owners had to call the police on for creating a disruption by playing music loud to drown out the protesters. They played that music loud intentionally and with premeditation to deny other people their rights of assembly and speech, on private property. The owner had every right to eject them for trespassing, which he would have been totally within his rights to do. Don't believe me? Why not let a similar crowd blast music at you when you are trying to study, sleep, talk to friends, etc. etc. and see how you like it.
Lexi December 24, 2011 at 11:03 PM
You clearly know nothing about it. The DNC shut it down because it was against them, too. They even paid a visit to Obama himself to shout him down.
Lexi December 24, 2011 at 11:11 PM
That's not entirely true. There's strong historical evidence that Abraham Lincoln was gay, or at least bisexual. That's a dirty secret that the Republican party tries to keep hidden. In America's 235 years of history, it's only just the last few years that it has been considered safe to be open about homosexuality at all, let alone to be open about while working in politics, so politicians kept quiet about it out of fear of losing their jobs.
Stephen Schmidt December 24, 2011 at 11:13 PM
I'm not going to be around to moderate so I'm shutting comments down on this article until Monday. If you still have something to say, come back then.
Tonto December 26, 2011 at 03:44 PM
When is the DNC going to open its replacement diversion for Occupoo?
B.A. Morelli December 27, 2011 at 09:35 PM
Here are some videos from this event including of the robot, Bachmann filming a campaign ad and wishing everyone a merry Christmas, Occupy Iowa protesters chanting 'you're not wanted here, so go just go." http://patch.com/A-pHBY
randy crawford December 28, 2011 at 10:24 AM
Tenured university faculty professor RoboHomo was on vacation? What did he do to earn one? He is evidence the University goof-offs are getting way too many days off, as well as needing to have their featherbedding called "tenure" eliminated. With his space robot get-up, we have to wonder whether his interest was in relation to Occupy Iowa City, or more probably Occupy Uranus. Then again, there isn't much difference between Iowa City and Uranus. The shouters at the Hamburg Inn event who were dumping on Michele Bachmann come from a long, long lineage. And these sorts have been recognized for what they are over the centuries. Even for people with rhetorical skills (which obviously weren’t even achieved by these chanting yahoos), Cicero observed as to demagoguery in “De Oratore“ (55 B.C.): “The stronger this faculty is, the more necessary it is for it to be combined with integrity and supreme wisdom, and if we bestow fluency of speech on persons devoid of those virtues, we shall not have made orators of them, but shall have put weapons into the hands of madmen.”
Jon Trouten December 28, 2011 at 01:42 PM
@Randy Crawford: School's out at the University of Iowa. It has been for a couple weeks now. Even assuming that this campaign event took place during time when classes were in action, so what? It took place in town in the early evening. Why would he need to take vacation? That makes no sense to me. And assuming that this particular "gay robot" is McLeod, so what? He has the right to participate in political events.
Parlay1 December 30, 2011 at 06:41 AM
@Jose Carlos: There is no "GOP Majority", The Dems control the Senate AND the Presidency with only the House controlled by the GOP..ie....no way the GOP "forced" any bill without the Democrats going along with it, in fact the Dems completely controlled all of Congress from 2006-2010 (all branches including the white house 2008-2010)with the GOP taking the house in 2011. The people are realizing it's time to hold the party in control for the past 5 years accountable for thier bad polices and rightly so.
randy crawford January 06, 2012 at 08:31 PM
@Jon Trouten- Prof. HomoRobo illustrates the fact that faculty shouldn't be given vast amounts of time off on the taxpayer's dime. He also illustrates why it is foolish to grant tenure. When university "professors" (professing what, other than ludicrous pranks?) have nothing better to do, it shows how our money is being wasted as to whom we are hiring and giving cushy time-off packages. We might as well be hiring the town drunk to roll around in the gutter. Of course he has the right to participate in political events, and we the taxpayers have the right to hire somebody else who will do something else that is less selfish, less immature, and more productive for society. Does he (or you) hire me to participate in poltical events? Why not? That's the same reason why I shouldn't be funding either HomoRobo's job or his time off harassment antics. And this wasn't a legitimate political event. It was an organized premeditated ambush of mass shouting for the purposes of political censorship. Don't understand? Let's see if you like the same thing to be done to you, or to your candidate. Try group shouting like that in a courtroom sometime and see whether the judge rates it as 'freedom of speech.'
Jon Trouten January 07, 2012 at 01:21 AM
University faculty are not chained to their desks. They actually are free to leave work and do stuff like participate in political events and do things that they enjoy. I'm still not sure what kind of paid time off he supposedly took off from work. His work time begins and ends at some time every day.
randy crawford January 09, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Iowans are not chained to the care and feeding of irresponsible wacko University employees who have nothing better to do than impersonate a robot clown, or aspire to be one. If we are paying vacation time for nut jobs to do this kind of thing, we can find a better use for our money. He is free to act cuckoo, and we are free to not pay him to do so. This guy was just one more example of why there need to be large cutbacks on university frivolities including the vast ill-advised 'vacation' time, as well as tenure for nonproductive antics, endless trips and wine and cheese parties, etc. etc. Just spend some time on campus looking at the universities to see how bad the situation is. Our job isn't to serve the universities. Their job is to serve us. If they don't understand, why pay them to be idiots? They are perfectly capable of doing that for free.
Jon Trouten January 09, 2012 at 08:42 PM
@Randy: Why do you keep saying that he took off time to go to that one event? Like anyone else, he has free time away from work. What do you or I care about how he spends his personal time or money?
randy crawford April 15, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Like anyone else, we all have 'free time away from work.' 'What do you or I care about how' anyone spends their personal time or money trying to shout down and censor you or your candidate as HomoRobo and Occupy did? This isn't about how people chose their leisure time. Nice try attempting to change the subject to your substitute effort version of a fraudulent red herring. It's about clowns getting together to step on the free speech of, in this case, a presidential candidate. Ready to learn a little civility, or would you prefer a dose of your own medicine? Or maybe you can learn honest discourse instead of trying to cover up censorship with a lame attempt to change the subject.
Jon Trouten April 15, 2012 at 08:07 PM
She had her free speech. So did he. He was asked to leave within a minute of his protest. She barely saw him and she continued to do her event. Whose free speech was stepped on? Seriously.
randy crawford April 15, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Look at the videos which Occupy themselves made. Occupy came hours in advance, lay in wait ambush-style, and taped their own censorship which went on and on for 10-15 minutes of yelling, screaming, and chanting. Are you conveniently forgetting the facts again, or just trying to continue your denial process about the harassment campaign that HomoRobo participated in at the same time and place as Occupy? Perhaps you conveniently have no memory, or perhaps you are fabricating creative deafness and creative blindness. When you or HomoRobo or your candidate have an event that is torn up and stepped on the way this one was, it will be interesting to see how much you think your overridden message is somehow someone else's allowable 'free speech.' That's what is serious-- not your ongoing denials and lame attempts at changing the subject.
Jon Trouten April 15, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I'm not forgetting it. But those are two different group. HomoRobo came and left very quickly. I'm not even certain (if I remember an Iowa City Public Access interview from back in January correctly) sure he agreed with the mic check approach of the Occupy group. But they all have the right to free speech just like the Tea Party protesters from 2010 had the free speech rights to disrupt politicians and candidates during their speeches and events.
Stephen Schmidt April 15, 2012 at 08:47 PM
To be fair, I don't think Kembrew McLeod's protest had any connection with the Occupy protest, their only commonality being that Rep. Michele Bachmann was the target for both of them. The Occupy Iowa City group also did a similar protest when Newt Gingrich was in Iowa City and was considering doing one when Santorum came to Hamburg Inn. If I'm wrong on that someone feel free to correct me.
randy crawford April 15, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Both were doing opposition tactics at the same place and time, while using different tactics to do so. The Occupy people were egregiously shouting down Bachmann [as they did in a similar uncivilized way with Gingrich], while HomoRobo/McCleod was putting on a clownish farce and was much more civilized about his hijinks. While Occupy was literally to borderline criminal in its censorship tactics and while HomoRobo/McCleod was more restrained, I hardly think that Harkin or Loebsack for instance would want their parade rained on by similar tactics. Ditto for John Trouten. Bottom line is (1) Occupy was way out of bounds as to censorship, and (2) the public has a right to demand certain standards from public employees such as university employees. If we don't want this or that to be done (including on time off) we can demand other people be hired in their place as in other standards be set. HomoRobo is free to do all the clowning he wishes, and I am free to look for someone else to be on my public payroll. When university employees do the kind of con jobs that lead to spreading around crop disease (like soybean cyst nematodes, damaging millions of dollars of Iowans' incomes) or extortion like what Anne Cleary did to Lu Gang (setting off his murder spree) or when Ellen Lewin wants to let incautions comments reveal her agenda, citizens have a right to hold the universities to higher standards. If anything goes and the university is a personal playground for arbitrary whims,
randy crawford April 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM
(2) then what is the university worth beyond functioning (sort of) at the level of passing irrelevant fancy? Why aren't they then paying me to goof off and do as I please on the public dime, or give me a cozy job so I can do that type of thing on my abundant free time? Trouten is trying to dismiss the shouting and censorship of Occupy under the euphemism of 'mic check' as if, in an obviouis extreme analogy, 'ethnic cleansing' can be using as the verbiage in place of genocide. Calling censorship by some other contrived name in order to step on a candidate's speech doesn't make it OK. It just means that somebody is working to keep reality covered up with the manipulation of sematic games. Trouten is recently previously lauding the disrupting of politicians and candidate during speeches and events as 'free speech rights.' If that malevolence were true, does Trouten or anyone else want to make a habit of shouting down and drowning out Obama or Harkin or Loebsack or anyone else, or sanction the same? It becomes a serious deficit of plain civility when that inconsiderate approach is accepted as standard policy particularly when the censorship tactics boomerang on those who advocate them.


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