Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says she refuses to be bullied after being confronted by protestors while buying tickets with her boyfriend outside a movie theater in Tampa to see “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” about Mr. Rogers.
“My boyfriend and I were getting tickets, it’s Mr. Rogers, documentary about anti-bullying and kindness and respecting each other’s views,” Bondi told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” Monday morning.
“A woman approaches me in the ticket line and starts screaming that I was personally ripping babies out of the arms of mothers and they were videoing me,” said Bondi. “I said I’m glad that you were videoing me because I never agreed with separating mothers and babies.”
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Bondi received a police escort Friday after being confronted by several members of Organize Florida confronted her as she left a Tampa theater. Demonstrators reportedly questioned the attorney general about Florida entering into a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, as well as her general support of the immigration policies of President Donald Trump.
This is at least the third time a Republican official has been confronted by protestors in public places. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders bothleft restaurants in the Washington, D.C., area after being confronted about the president’s “zero tolerance” policy which has separated children from their parents in immigration cases.
The Times received a video of the incident that was taken by one of the demonstrators.
A video of the confrontation, taken by progressive activist Timothy Heberlein of Organize Florida, shows several people shouting down Bondi as she leaves the theater escorted by law enforcement after seeing Won’t You Be My Neighbor.
Pam Bondi attempted to attend a screening of the Mister Rogers documentary a day after announcing her plan to end protections for health care consumers with pre-existing conditions. Here, via @timintampa, is what happened. pic.twitter.com/zMLrSayS8M
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 23, 2018
Bondi said at one point a protester spit on her forehead.
“Now I can’t say that was intentional because he was yelling so loud – I don’t know if it was just him spewing out of his mouth,” she said.
“We were in a movie about anti-bullying and practicing peace and love and tolerance and accepting of people for their differences,” Bondi said the Fox interview. “That’s what Mr. Rogers is all about. We all believe in free speech, but there’s a big difference there.”
The protester who yelled at Bondi was identified as Maria Jose Chapa. Chapa said it was an impromptu demonstration after someone spotted the attorney general.
When the Times asked Chapa if the documentary’s star would have handled the situation the same, she replied, “I’m not Mr. Rogers. I don’t have the poise or temperament of Mr. Rogers.”