Remember that congressman who yelled “you lie” to former President Barack Obama while he gave a speech to a joint session of Congress?
The New York Times reports that Rep. Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, had his own words thrown back at him during a contentious town hall meeting on Monday.
An already heated gathering reached a boiling point when Wilson answered an Obamacare question. Wilson said Obama’s health care law was delaying and denying services, and that’s when the audience erupted in a chorus of “you lie.”
Although the Republicans now control Congress and the White House, they have been unable to keep their promise to replace Obamacare with a better system. Some GOP lawmakers have not scheduled town halls during their Easter recess over fear of facing angry constituents back home.
“People feel really let down by Joe Wilson, and there’s a lot of really high emotion when it comes to him,” Julie Edwards, a local pharmacist who is part of a Democratic grass-roots movement, told The Times. “A lot of it comes down to disrespecting President Barack Obama. Even a lot of Republicans in our state were facepalming over that.”
Wilson’s spokeswoman, Leacy Burke, downplayed the incident. She told the newspaper that the chant lasted less than a minute in an otherwise “positive event that lasted nearly two hours.”
That’s a comforting spin for the Republicans. The reality is that some GOP lawmakers fear for their safety at town halls.
Politico reported that House Republicans held a closed-door meeting in February to discuss safety measures for themselves and staff when they face constituents who are concerned about the repeal Obamacare.