Internet phenomenon Ken Bone: Debate 'got very uncomfortable from up close'
From where he sat in his now Internet-famous red sweater, undecided voter and debate attendee Ken Bone said Sunday night’s matchup “almost felt like watching mom and dad fight.”
Bone, who asked the candidates a question about energy policy toward the end of Sunday night’s debate in St. Louis, lamented the “bickering and name calling” that occupied much of the event’s 90 minutes. He praised moderators Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper for their “great job moving us through under difficult circumstances.”
“It got very uncomfortable from up close. But if you can dig through some of the rhetoric and some of the name calling that went on, I think there really were some substantive answers,” he said in an interview on CNN, still wearing his red sweater. “It's just unfortunate that we have to wade through so much to get to them.”
The mustachioed debate attendee rocketed to Internet fame in the closing moments of Sunday night’s debate, launching a flurry of social media posts about his attire and facial hair. Video showing him photographing the emptying debate hall with what appeared to be a disposable camera only further endeared him to the masses.
Bone joked that his Twitter account had gained hundreds of followers and that he felt he had to reprise his red sweater on the morning after the debate because “it's more famous than me. I just had to bring myself along.”
He also said that he did not know during the debate that Donald Trump had invited an array of women who claimed to have been wronged by the Clintons to sit in the audience on Sunday night, including three who allege that Bill Clinton had either raped or made unwanted sexual advances toward them. The former president has denied all three allegations.
Bone said the move likely would not affect his decision on whom to vote for in November, but he added that inviting the women to attend “was uncalled for.”
“I don’t think that will factor into my decision because I really try to stick to the issues. But if I’m being honest, that was, I feel like that was uncalled for,” he said. “It has very little to do with Hillary Clinton’s ability to be president, her husband’s bad behavior from 20 years ago. And if Mr. Trump wants us to forget his past behaviors, he needs to quit dredging up those of his political opponents.”
Asked whether Sunday night’s debate had given him any clarity on whom he might vote for, Bone said it had done just the opposite. He told CNN that he had been leaning toward voting for Trump but that Clinton’s composure and answers had impressed him.
And asked how he arrived at his now-famous wardrobe choice for the evening, Bone said the sweater was actually a backup plan.
“I had a really nice olive suit that I love a great deal and my mother would have been very proud to see me wearing on television, but apparently I have gained about 30 pounds and when I went to get in my car the morning of the debate I split the seat of my pants all the way open,” he said. “So the red sweater is plan B. I’m glad it worked out. “