Activism

9 Town Hall Confrontations Against Republicans You May Have Missed This Month

The pressure is on for Republicans.

Photo Credit: SFChronicle / Twitter

This week has seen a slew of heated town halls, with the Trump resistance movement showing no signs of weakening. Nearly 100 days into his presidency, voters on both sides of the aisle are angry, and Republican officials increasingly face an impossible choice: Defend the president or risk being voted out of office.

Here are nine throwdowns from the past two weeks you may have missed:

1. Rep. Joe Barton (R): Mansfield, Texas (April 13)

Barton, who went viral last month for all the wrong reasons, received a bevy of questions from constituents gravely concerned about the future of Obamacare. 

"All you guys say is that you're going to give people access," one audience member told him. "That is not health care... you talk about Obamacare being bad... take the time in Congress and just fix it."

"Mr. Barton, you need to start to support your constituents and not the Republican Party," he added, calling Barton's seemingly unconditional support of President Trump "shameful."

2. Rep. Mike Coffman (R): Aurora, Colorado: April 13

Coffman's selective challenging of President Trump's agenda has drawn the ire of more liberal voters.

"Those of you on the extreme left will never be satisfied," he snorted. But even the Colorado Republican had no defense for White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's Holocaust gaffe.

“He needs to go,” Coffman said of Spicer. “He’s not serving the president well.”

3. Sen. Jeff Flake (R): Mesa, Arizona (April 14)

The Arizona Republican received a "bullsh*t" chant and was told to "take his job more seriously" after defending Trump's Supreme Court appointment and frequent trips to Mar-a-Lago. 

Flake also weighed in on Trump's refusal to release his tax returns, and a potential bill that could make the "tradition" a requirement. 

"I know we can make a law, I don't think we need it," Flake said to a chorus of jeers.

4. Sen. Dean Heller (R): Reno, Nevada (April 17)

Heller was hounded by constituents still furious over Republicans' Obamacare replacement plan shortly after President Trump announced his administration would not be moving on to tax reform as previously promised. 

"Yes or no!", "Answer the question!" hundreds chanted at Heller's evasive tactics. The Nevada Republican would later reverse his stance on Planned Parenthood during a spirited health care debate.

"I have no problems with federal funding for Planned Parenthood," he told the crowd

5. Sen. Tom Cotton (R): Little Rock, Arkansas: April 17

"Do your job!", "Lock him up!” the crowd chanted, referencing the ongoing investigation into Trump's ties to Russia and the senator's long-standing commitment to repealing Obamacare. 

6. Rep. Jeff Denham (R): Denair, California (April 17)

Denham, when pressed about the same bill as Sen. Jeff Flake requiring the president to release his taxes, offered a slightly stranger response. 

"The previous president [was] forced to show his birth certificate. Will you introduce a bill to do that?" he asked.

The congressman vowed to protect Obama's Dreamers as well as parts of the Affordable Care Act, but his border security talk left attendees seething. 

7. Sen. James Lankford (R): Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (April 18)

Lankford received a heavy stream of boos for his willingness to work with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on improving public schools. He also called on the president to release his tax returns.

President Trump “promised he would,” Lankford said in agreement with his constituents. “He should keep his promise.”

8. Sen. Joni Ernst (R), Wall Lake, Iowa (April 18)

Ernst similarly wants President Trump's tax returns released and remains critical both of his policies and character.

"With the trips to Florida, I do wish that he would spend more time in Washington, D.C.," she told town hall constituents.

She also shared skepticism about Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" plan with an attendee who questioned the recent executive order. 

"I would love to see that, and you know maybe [Trump] puts his money where his mouth is and brings some of those jobs here," Ernst quipped. 

9. Gov. Paul LePage (R): Portland, Maine (April 18)

LePage was confronted by two dozen protesters during a gathering at the University of Southern Maine on Tuesday. The action was organized by USM's Future, an immigration alliance for students. 

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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