Town Hall Revolt
Republican Rep. Mike Coffman (Colo.) faced the wrath of angry constituents Wednesday night as the crowd at his town hall made clear its displeasure with his decision to support Paul Ryan's health-care bill, which would have repealed the Affordable Care Act but failed to muster enough support to go to vote. "That's not the way we do things here in Colorado," said one man who identified as Republican. "The ACA is the law of the land. What will you do to revise, strengthen, and bolster ObamaCare?"
A woman in the health-care industry who said she had a preexisting medical condition offered Coffman a choice: "Are you going to side with Trump or are you going to ... stand with your constituents?"
Coffman was first elected to the House in 2008, but the fury directed at him Wednesday reflects the tough re-election he'll have next year, when he faces Democratic candidate Jason Crow, a former Army ranger. Coffman is hardly the first Republican to come under fire at a town hall this year, either: In the days leading up to the proposed vote for the health-care bill, many Republicans faced boos, ultimatums, and heckling. Some Republicans went as far as to respond by dismissing that the people in the room were actually their constituents.
For his part, CNN described Coffman as appearing "to take the frequent 'booing' in good humor," although he agreed to protect the coverage of people with preexisting conditions and he quickly jumped to say White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer "needs to go."
High school teacher and self-described Democrat Susan Gilbert said Coffman shouldn't have been surprised by the audience's mood. "If he was listening to the public and looking at all the letters and phone calls and postcards, he should have been more perceptive," she said.