GOP Rep Says Crowd At His Town Hall ‘Was Real People With Real Concerns’

February 22, 2017 6:42 p.m.

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) said on Wednesday that the crowd at his last town hall “wasn’t manufactured” and attendees were “real people with real concerns.”

“This wasn’t an artificial crowd. It wasn’t manufactured. It was real people with real concerns in terms of what came next on healthcare,” Sanford told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Members of Congress who are home in their districts for the week during the congressional recess faced large crowds and vocal criticism at town halls on Tuesday.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed Wednesday that the wave of angry protests was partly due to a “professional protester manufactured base.”

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“It is a loud, small group of people disrupting something in many cases for media attention, no offense,” he said. “Obviously there are people that are upset, but I also think that when you look at some of these districts and some of these things, that it is not a representation of a member’s district or an incident.”

However, Sanford said on Wednesday that attendees at a town hall on Saturday in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, included “certainly some people from outside the district” but nobody he was “aware of from outside the state.”

“The bulk of folks were local, they were from the district and they were passionate about what they believed,” he said.

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