A parade float depicting presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a prison jumpsuit behind bars sparked outrage.
Democrats in Arcadia, Iowa, called the float “mean,” especially due to the fact that children were encouraged to throw water balloons at it during the parade celebrating the local fire department.
“Only one group booed us,” Kyle Julin, who drove the float, told the Daily Times Herald. Julin built the float along with friends Josh Reetz and Adam Corky, who impersonated Clinton. The group had been considering entering the parade for some time.
“Probably a month ago we joked around about it, and at the beginning of last week we decided to do it,” Julin said. All of the feedback Julin received regarding the float was positive, he claimed.
“Even the police and everybody was positive about it, especially on social media,” he said. “We couldn’t get pictures with some people because of where they work and their political agendas. But, only one group booed us. My consensus from that was 99 percent to 1 percent liked it.”
Carroll County Democratic Chairman Tim Tracy blasted the float and criticized the creators for handing out balloons to children to throw at it.
“The Carroll County Democrats participated in the Arcadia celebration in an appropriate and dignified manner,” Tracy said. “We saw a lot of children along the parade route. Children aren’t politically savvy. It’s sad to imagine that some of them may have been wondering why they were being mean to that lady and throwing things at her.”
Tracy reiterated his disgust with the float in an interview with the Omaha World-Herald.
“It is not appropriate to be handing water balloons to little children and inviting them to throw them at such a display,” he said.
A local resident who wished to remain anonymous also criticized the float, calling it “disrespectful.”
“I’m glad my grandkids weren’t there to see it,” she said to the Daily Times Herald. “Here we have what could be the first woman president in our history -- and to treat her like that -- I thought was disrespectful to her and disrespectful to women.”
Craig Williams, chairman of the Carroll County Republicans, denied having anything to do with the float -- though he shared photos of it on Facebook.
“I probably wouldn’t have done that myself, but I can certainly understand some frustrations from people over all the illegal things [Clinton] has done,” Williams said. “I don’t feel it was offensive to women. It could have been anybody in there anyone who got away with what she did.”
An estimated 400 water balloons were handed out during the parade.