A Republican congressman told one of his constituents to “shut up” after he was asked a question about violence against women legislation during a town hall over the weekend, video shows.
When an attendee at the Saturday event asked Texas Rep. Joe Barton why he voted against a House bill regarding violence against women, a video clip reveals Barton responded that he “voted against it because I think that’s a state issue, not a federal issue.”
His response prompted loud boos, with one audience member declaring violence against women a “national issue” and something that “impacts everyone, everywhere.”
As the crowd continued to boo and tout signs emblazoned with the words “no” and “disagree,” a visibly flustered Barton pointed at a man who had just demanded that the congressman “represents Texas first.”
“You, sir, shut up,” the congressman said, still pointing.
The remark only drew louder boos.
“What is that? You don’t tell anyone to shut up — you work for us,” a man hurled at Barton amid the commotion.
The Texas Republican became a target of scathing criticism over social media, with Twitter users blasting him as a “disgrace” and a “human boil.”
Barton defended his contentious comment on Tuesday, arguing that the man had been disruptive before he told him to “shut up.”
“I appreciate the interest and participation at every town hall meetings I host,” Barton said in a statement to Dallas News.
Barton is hardly the only Republican facing angry crowds at town halls. Liberal demonstrators have flooded GOP events across the country since President Trump’s election, picketing signs and often disrupting speakers.
Gara LaMarche, president of the progressive Democracy Alliance group, praised protesters last month.
“Those of us who vowed to resist are off to a promising start, and we’ve had some impact, aided by Trump’s unreadiness and unsuitability,” LaMarche said in a statement.