WEST: They’re watching us real close now. … Right now, the security folks there on the House floor are laughing about it, but initially, they did not know who it was. And they were concerned that someone had just walked off the street, or you know, wondered off a tour group. But look, this is the type of immature gimmickry we see coming from the other side that you know, does not have any place, especially on the House floor and really in the United States.
It seems incredibly improbable that security personnel were unable to recognize Rush, considering that he entered the House chamber wearing a suit and tie, complete with his congressional lapel pin, and was recognized by the chairman to speak on the floor. Only during his speech did he remove his jacket to reveal a hood and only then for a few moments. C-SPAN’s cameras had no problem identifying Rush, and neither did Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), who was serving as speaker pro tem and gaveled him off the floor.
Requests for clarification from the House Sargent at Arms and Capitol Police were not returned.
Rush said he pulled his hoodie stunt to protest racial profiling, and especially because his own son was shot and killed in Chicago in 1999. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said of the incident: “I think that Bobby Rush deserves a great deal of credit for the courage he had to go to the floor in a hoodie, knowing that he would be told he was out of order.”