Outraged Town Hall Crowd Rips Senator For Supporting Trump (VIDEO)
During a Thursday town hall in Mesa, Arizona, a hostile crowd angrily lobbed questions at Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Obamacare and the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court were the main points of contention and the senator ducked and covered as best he could.
This town hall was raucous
“Senator, my question is: When are you going to choose your country over your party?” asked one audience member at the event.
He was jeered for defending the GOP’s use of the so-called nuclear option to ensure that Neil Gorsuch was appointed to the Supreme Court. Flake contended that Gorsuch faced unprecedented obstructionism by the Democrats, The Hill reports.
“What happened to Merrick Garland’s vote?” an audience member fired back, referring to President Obama’s choice that the Senate GOP refused to have hearings or votes on.
A number of audience members accused him of being a Trump wanna-be. Flake, in the same tradition of reps. Jason Chaffetz, Mike Coffman and Sen. Mitch McConnell, who also found themselves booed and shouted at by crowds who were fed up with Republican business as usual.
And Flake’s answers drew a chorus of shouts and boos from the crowd.
This was especially true after one audience member asked him about Trump’s continual visits to Mar-A-Lago, his estate in Florida, Aol.com reports.
“Does this concern you at all? Do you approve a budget for these weekly excursions,” the woman asked. “If yes, how much is that? And if no, why do you have no personal desire to control President Trump’s spending or his personal profit from that spending?”
After that, the crowd’s frustration was on full boil.
This was Flake’s answer:
“As mentioned, I wasn’t critical of the last president or the president before that for what they do on their time off.”
“That’s something we’ll deal with when we deal with the budget,” he continued, “but I’m not going to tell the president where he can and cannot spend his weekends.”
This is somewhat of a switch; Flake hasn’t always been supportive of Trump. Last year, the two had a rather testy conversation over Trump’s attacking Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for being a prisoner of war.
The Hill reports there were about 1700 people at the town hall.
Flake maintained his cool in the midst of the rapid-fire questions but the session went well beyond its scheduled time-limit, azcentral reports.
One audience member hammered him over his 2016 report that criticized the use of taxpayer dollars to fund certain scientific research projects. The audience member accused Flake of fomenting additional hostility toward the scientific community.
Flake claimed that due to the deficit, Congress has to make better decisions on where the money is spent.
The senator received a steady pounding on funding for Planned Parenthood. He replied that he was “sorry we have a disagreement about this.”
“You work for us! You work for us!” the town hall members chanted in response.
And Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America also responded — on Twitter:
“Unacceptable that constituents are having to educate U.S. senators on reproductive health policy.”
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) April 14, 2017
The audience had many more questions for Flake, including:
“Can you please take your job more seriously, senator? We would appreciate it,” said one woman who didn’t like Flake’s answer to a question about holding Trump responsible.
“Three things always come out: The sun, the moon, and the truth — why don’t you get behind those,” one man asked, in regard to congress’s investigations into possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Another person asked this blunt and to-the-point question:
“When do you feel like you’ll have the backbone or conviction to put country over party and impeach him?” the man asked Flake, regarding Trump. “I don’t care for Mike Pence either, but he’s not as dangerous as Trump.”
The senator continued answering questions until after 9:30 p.m. Then he thanked the audience.
“This is what democracy looks like. This has been a great evening,” he said.
“F*ck you,” one man fired back.
It was perhaps the shortest response of the evening.
Here’s a sample of the goings-on in the video below.
[brid video=”133053″ player=”5260″ title=”Senator Flake met by jeering crowd at Mesa town hall meeting”]
Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images