By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Supporters of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were out in very small but very vocal numbers to protest Hillary Clinton’s book signing at the Union Square Barnes and Noble on Tuesday.
Howard Caplan, a Trump voter who traveled from Philadelphia to protest the signing, said that he voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary and for President Obama in the previous two elections but “would’ve voted for a three-legged monkey” instead of Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
“To write a book about why you lost takes a lot of hubris,” Caplan said. “She just keeps the anti-Trump contingent going.”
He also handed this reporter a pamphlet titled “Investigate #Pizzagate,” referring to a debunked report of Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor.
Brooklyn native Ayton Eller said he was protesting the signing because he is a supporter of the president.
“I voted for Trump because he’s pro-Israel and pro-USA,” said Eller, who also addressed this reporter with shouts of “You lost, we won” before being asked any questions.
Sanders supporter Bradley Bloom, holding a sign that said “Bernie would have won,” said that he voted for Jill Stein in the general election last November. He acknowledged that some that dislike Clinton have “superficial reasons” such as her gender and personality, but he said that he was more concerned about how she would govern.
“The larger part of the equation is about policy choices, like picking a conservative Vice President to attract moderates,” he said. “I’m thankful to live in a state that I could vote my conscience (for Stein) but I know a lot of people who didn’t vote at all because they couldn’t choose between (Trump and Clinton).”
Yvonne Vallourard did not come to Union Square specifically for the protest but happened to be passing by and enthusiastically joined in, saying that she, like Caplan, had voted for Obama twice and then for Trump.
Sanders supporter Ellen Kinnally, who also voted for Stein but in her home state of Florida, said that she was particularly against Clinton’s stance on the military.
“She was for putting girls in the service and I don’t usually agree with Ted Cruz but he was one of the only people who said no, women shouldn’t have to be forced to be in the military,” she said. “I’m a pacifist so I weep over the idea that we bomb countries for profit.”
Police stationed outside the bookstore on Tuesday afternoon said that the small group of protesters, no more than 10 people in total, was vocal but peaceful and no arrests were made. Kinnally noted that when the crowd of Clinton supporters was still outside earlier in the day waiting to get inside the store, some had harsh words (and gestures) for the protesters.
Clinton suffered no lack of support for her book, What Happened, on Tuesday, though. Many fans had lined up around the block to meet her hours before the store even opened.