- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rep. Dave Brat said Wednesday he enjoyed parts of a Tuesday evening town hall where he faced an at-times hostile crowd, but also said protesters were “ruining” the opportunity for other attendees to take part in the democratic system.

“It went great in some respects,” Mr. Brat, Virginia Republican, told radio host John Fredericks. “We had a good time, but the crowd wouldn’t let me answer any questions.”

Mr. Brat said most of the attendees at the Blackstone, Virginia, location were constituents, but that there were some in the crowd from the “Indivisible” movement, a group that has tried to organize opposition to President Trump.

“I tried to keep it all at the policy level. It’s very hard to do that,” he said.

“You’re left in a tough quandary, because I do want to talk to all of my constituents, but I want to talk to them, right, and have civil discourse,” Mr. Brat said. “And so that was not an option last night because the protesters were drowning out and ruining the opportunity for everyone else to take part in the democratic system.”

Mr. Brat was heckled and booed when he defended Mr. Trump Tuesday evening, with the occasional cheer for his support of gun rights and fewer regulations, according to the Associated Press.

“We had fun,” he said Wednesday. “The crowd — it was pretty rough, but we got through it and I was trying to have as much fun as I could.”

Mr. Brat is one of several Republicans in Congress to be confronted at town hall-style events in their home districts recently over Mr. Trump’s agenda and issues like Obamacare.

Mr. Trump said on Twitter Tuesday evening that liberal activists are behind some of “so-called angry crowds” in Republican districts.

Mr. Brat famously toppled former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a June 2014 GOP primary before winning election to Congress in November 2014 and re-election last year.


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