“I got so fired up when I rolled by the balloon and I rolled my window down and I said something to them and I figured they saw me. I figured only way I was going to get close enough to that balloon was to blend in. [So I] went and bought me an Alabama shirt and walked up like I was just walking to the game and like I was going to take a picture with [the balloon]," he said. “I was so fired up, man. I was shaking, I was so mad.”
In a Facebook video he posted after being free on bond, Hutchinson said he’d “do it again if given the opportunity.” He further explained to host Rick Burgess on Monday that he acted because he angered by people who won’t take a stand.
“I’m not young, but I’m not old. I’m kind of middle aged. I feel like a lot of people my age don’t keep up with the news and politics like they should. I watch the news every night. I watch Fox News every night. Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are my favorite two anchors,” he said. “I see this stuff going on out west and up north and all other places. I get so mad about people not taking a stand. The left wants to kind of use religion against you like you shouldn’t act like this and stuff, but I’ll tell you this — the Devil knows the Bible as good as we do.”
A bricklayer by trade, Hutchinson, 32, said he is working in a factory now. Burgess asked if his response to the balloon was a “turning over of the temple tables” moment, referring to the story of Jesus upending tables of the money changers.
“It comes a point when you gotta take a stand. We don’t have two parties anymore. We have good vs. evil,” he replied. “When you got one party that says it’s okay to kill babies and by the way, that’s is the first time I’m ever seen a liberal get mad about chopping up a baby.”
He added that when he heard protesters chanting, “Lock him up,” in reference to Trump, “I walked by and said, ‘Lock this up.’”
In the Facebook live video posted after he was released Saturday, Hutchinson said as he stood in front of a TV with the game playing: “Some liberals tried to come to my hometown and start some trouble. That ain’t happening. I did get arrested. I got charged. That’s all right. I’d do it again given the opportunity.”
Upon his release, Hutchinson created a GoFundMe account titled “Restitutions for Baby Trump Stabber” and as of Monday afternoon, he had raised over $40,000, far exceeding his $6,000 goal. Hutchinson promised on Facebook to donate whatever is left after his legal expenses “to the Republican Party.” Although he wrote on the site Monday that the money would “likely” be refunded because “we have been reported by the sympathizers,” it remained active and GoFundMe reported to AL.com that the funds were being held by the payment processor until banking information is added. GoFundMe prohibits fundraising campaigns “for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, serious disabilities or diseases, or financial crimes or crimes of deception.”
The appearance of the Baby Trump balloon marked the third time in recent weeks that the president has faced conspicuous opposition at sporting events. He was met with sustained boos and chants of “lock him up” when he attended a World Series game at Nationals Park in Washington last month. And he got a similar reception when he attended a mixed martial arts event in New York at the beginning of November. The reactions have angered some of Trump’s supporters, who call the behavior disrespectful.
While the Baby Trump balloon caused a stir outside the Alabama-LSU game, Trump appeared to get a mostly warm welcome inside the stadium, where he was greeted with a mix of boos, cheers and chants of “USA! USA!”
The figure of a scowling, orange-faced president in a safety-pinned diaper made its debut during Trump’s trip to the United Kingdom last year. A website under the name Baby Trump Tour loans out six giant infants and tracks their appearances at Trump visits around the country, from a Florida rally to a Pennsylvania Shell plant. Protest organizers said they raised several thousand dollars more than the $4,000 needed to bring the balloon to the game.
The event had been going smoothly before the balloon slasher arrived, Robert Kennedy, one of the organizers, told the Associated Press. Some people shouted “Trump 2020,” he said, while others posed for selfies. Then the balloon was slit open.
Kennedy told the Associated Press he has accompanied Baby Trump to other events and has never seen anyone attack it before.
“It is rare to get that kind of anger,” he said.
Hannah Knowles contributed to this report.