Politics

Trump Sums Up Town Hall Meetings With One Word

| by David Bonner

"Sad!" That's how President Donald Trump characterized the town hall events that have been taking place across the country.

Angry crowds have greeted Republican lawmakers at their town hall meetings, reports USA Today. They have voiced their opposition to a wide range of the Trump administration's policies.

For example, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, an eight-term Republican from Tennessee, faced a hostile crowd during her town hall meeting on Feb. 21, reports The New York Times. Her constituents asked her tough questions about health care, the environment, education and Trump's ties to Russia.

When attendee Bruce Sullivan asked why Republicans had not come up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act after years of threatening to repeal it, Blackburn said she once met with former President Barack Obama about it in 2010. To which Sullivan replied: “You are showing us you have been in Washington too long.”

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On Twitter, Trump alleged the town hall hostility is part of a liberal plot: "The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!"

Fox News backed him up. On the show Special Report, it was reported that “some of the chaos from GOP town hall meetings is very well-choreographed by the liberal activists that helped get Barack Obama elected president.”

The report specifically cited the group Organizing for Action, alleging that it is "giving liberals turn-by-turn directions for disrupting Republican lawmakers who want to repeal Obamacare."

OFA, which grew out of Obama's first presidential election, has been revived to fight Trump's agenda, reports NBC News.

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According to the organization's website, the group is "committed to mobilizing and training the next generation of progressive organizers and leaders." Although Obama has no legal affiliation with the group, his name is still gold among Democratic donors and voters, and so the group is an obvious base for pursuing his post-presidency interests.

OFA Communication Director Jesse Lehrich summarized the group's strategy in an email:

There are important progressive organizations that mobilize supporters around key issues of the day and OFA has great partnerships with many of them. OFA fills a unique role by investing in organizing to build a lasting and successful progressive movement. We're bringing in thousands of new people who have never been engaged before, connecting them to a nationwide grassroots network, providing them with cost-free training, and empowering them to apply those skills to make change in their communities.

Sources: USA Today, The New York Times, NBC News, OFA / Photo Credit: Sean Rayford/The New York Times

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