It was a shocking sight: former President Bill Clinton was photographed unconscious at an NFL game on Sunday night, and the image of the comatose Commander-in-Chief quickly went viral.
The pictures, taken with a camera phone, showed Clinton slumped in his seat, his face resting on his chest, and his eyes closed.
Right-wing politicians were quick to pounce on the photos, pointing to Clinton’s history of health issues and suggesting that the former president had suffered a heart attack or stroke.
“It’s not a laughing matter,” said one Republican lawmaker, “the man was in a very vulnerable situation and it’s shameful that someone would capture that moment with a camera and then post it online.”
The Clinton camp was quick to deny any medical emergency. A spokesman for the former president said that Clinton had simply dozed off during the game, a claim backed up by witnesses who said that he had nodded off a few times during the game. “The President is in good health,” the spokesman said, “and there’s no need for alarm.”
Still, the image of an unconscious Bill Clinton was disturbing to many and raised questions about the former president’s health.
Some Republicans even called for a full medical examination. “It’s time for Mr. Clinton to be completely honest with the American people,” said one Republican. “We deserve to know the full extent of his medical condition and any risks that may be associated with it.”
The story quickly became a political football, with Republicans using the photo of an unconscious Bill Clinton to attack the former president’s record and policies.
“This is the result of a failed presidency,” one GOP lawmaker said. “We need to make sure this kind of thing never happens again.”