GOP Rep. Tells Town Hall Attendee To ‘Shut Up’ After Crowd Begins Shouting

ASSOCIATED PRESS

At a town hall last week, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) told an attendee to “shut up” after the crowd took issue with his response to a question about legislation protecting women from violence.

An audience member pressed Barton to defend his vote against a measure to fight violence against women.

“I voted against it because I think that’s a state issue, not a federal issue,” Barton said.

The crowd began to boo. “Civil rights don’t go to states,” one person said.

“It’s violence against women,” another attendee shouted. “That is a national issue.”

Barton pointed to somebody in the audience and said: “You, sir, shut up.”

“What is this? You don’t tell anybody to shut up,” an attendee shouted. “You work for us!”

Reached by phone, a staff member at Barton’s office told TPM that the congressman had posted a response to the incident on Facebook, but the staffer was unable to find the post and had no further statement.

“All town halls begin with ground rules, which include that you must be recognized in order to speak,” Barton said in a statement to the Huffington Post. “Over the weekend in Frost, one gentlemen continued to speak over myself and many others who were seeking recognition in orderly fashion. I did, however, return to him for the last question of the meeting and allow him the opportunity to voice his concerns.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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