Politics

Rep. Joe Barton Tells Voter To 'Shut Up' At Town Hall (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas told a voter to shut up during a town hall event on March 11 in Frost, Texas (video below).

A constituent asked Barton to support the Violence Against Women Act, which Barton had voted against, notes The Dallas Morning News:

Now, given your voting record opposing legislation protecting women from violence, will you make a commitment to us today, make a promise that you will reach out to Congresswoman Jackie Speier and work with her to see this bill successfully through Congress?

Barton said that he voted against the bill because violence against women is a "state issue, not a federal issue," which brought plenty of boos.

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"No, civil rights don't go to states," said a voter.

"Violence against women, that’s a national issue!" a second voter shouted. "That is an issue that impacts everyone everywhere, not only in this country, but everywhere!"

A third voter told Barton that he represented Texas, and Barton pointed a finger at the voter and said: "You, sir, shut up."

Barton's response fueled more anger from the audience.

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"What is this?" the voter responded. "You don’t tell anybody to shut up! You work for us!"

In a written statement, Barton asserted that the voter had been told to quiet down earlier for being disruptive, but Barton recalled that he went back to him for the last question.

It's not clear if the man who asked the last question was the same man whom Barton told to shut up.

"I appreciate the interest and participation at every town hall meetings I host," Barton added in his statement.

In a 2011 press release, Barton said: "As a lawmaker, I believe I have a constitutional and moral obligation to protect those who do not have the power to protect themselves."

Barton at the time was referring to his anti-abortion stance: "That is why I recently joined dozens of my colleagues to introduce three bills aimed at protecting the unborn."

Barton expressed support for three anti-abortion bills, including the Life at Conception Act, which would have banned all abortions for women based on the 14th Amendment.

In more political news, Pat McCrory, the former Republican governor of North Carolina, told World Radio on March 10 that his support of the state's "bathroom bill"  was hurting his job prospects.

HB2 banned transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity, and banned local nondiscrimination ordinances.

"[HB2] has impacted me to this day, even after I left office," McCrory recalled. "People are reluctant to hire me, because, 'oh my gosh, he’s a bigot' -- which is the last thing I am."

McCrory told the Raleigh News & Observer that he was up for some part-time university teaching positions, but that academic leaders "have shown reluctance because of student protests."

McCrory lamented the effects of the students' free speech: "That’s not the way our American system should operate -- having people purged due to political thought."

The former governor said he has landed some consulting work, but would not name the companies that hired him.

Sources: The Dallas Morning News, Vote Smart, World Radio, Raleigh News & Observer / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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