Rep. Tom Reed, who was the target of lively opposition at a weekend town hall style meeting, joined Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday to discuss the experience.
Scarborough opened by praising the New York Republican for braving the crowds of hostile constituents at a time other congressional Republicans are scaling back this type of meeting. “A lot of your fellow Republican members didn’t go out this weekend. You did go out. Tell them what they’re missing by not going out and having this back and forth that you had with your constituents,” Scarborough said.
Despite having been prevented from speaking to constituents by noisy supporters of Obamacare, Reed struck a conciliatory tone, saying he will not back down from future town halls. “For us, this works. This is the cornerstone of our belief. We’ve done 200-plus town halls. And to represent people, you have to listen to people. I care deeply about their opinion and their input.”
“What were you going to say to the crowd before you were shut down?” contributor Mike Barnicle asked. “Where I was going was to try to get feedback from the proposals we are discussing about health savings account reforms, advanceable refundable tax credits as part of the replacement for this disastrous Obamacare that needs to be repealed….But obviously, we didn’t have that exchange at that point in time,” Reed answered.
Rowdy and hostile crowds have met many members of Congress since the Jan. 20 inauguration of Donald Trump. Reed was unfazed. “I really like being there with the people,” he said.