SANTA FE — Bill Clinton made a surprise visit to Tia Sofia’s in Santa Fe and spoke to many of the patrons and workers.
Clinton made the appearance as part of a quick campaign trip to New Mexico on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton.
Most of Bill Clinton’s time was spent at just one table, where he debated a Bernie Sanders supporter over laws that he signed into law during his term as president.
The Sanders supporter, who only identified himself as Josh, did not agree with welfare reform and the economy. He also said that deregulation that he said hurt working Americans.
Bill Clinton defended his economic record and said a large reason why young people today are unable to find well-paying jobs is the recession that happened under his successor, George W. Bush.
In all, the former President spent more time talking to the one Sanders protester and his sheepish boothmates than to all other patrons combined.
Still, most at the diner was excited to see the former president. One of them was former Santa Fe Mayor and Democratic Party of New Mexico chairman Sam Pick, who spoke to Bill Clinton. State House of Representatives Minority Leader Brian Egolf also was at the restaurant, though did not speak to Bill Clinton.
Former Gov. Bill Richardson, a familiar face at the restaurant, according to staff, was not at the restaurant.
One woman insisted on taking a selfie with the political heavyweight.
Bill Clinton also put on an apron and posed for photos with cooks and dishwashers in the Tia Sofia kitchen.
Another patron, Mario from Seattle, said that he voted for Clinton in the Washington State primary the day before. He said he had no idea that Clinton would be in the restaurant when he sat down.
Many others craned their necks and tried to take pictures of Clinton.
Clinton made the appearance a day after a rally in Espanola and hours before a scheduled appearance in Albuquerque.