Several Texas Republicans declined to hold public town halls in recent weeks, but Rep. Joe Barton, the longest-serving member of the delegation, held two over the weekend.
A few audience members at his town hall in Frost, Texas, did not like Barton’s answer to a question about violence against women, and they began to interrupt him. Barton said that he voted against federal legislation on the issue because it should be decided by the states instead.
“Violence against women, that’s a national issue,” an attendee said while Barton was trying to speak. “That is an issue that impacts everyone everywhere, not only in this country but everywhere.”
Barton then said, “You, sir, shut up.”
Video of the incident, which cuts out right after Barton’s comment, was sent to reporters after the town hall.
“I appreciate the interest and participation at every town hall meeting I host,” Barton said in a statement. “These are unscripted live meetings. Over the weekend in Frost, one gentlemen continued to speak over myself and many others who were seeking recognition in orderly fashion. I did, however, return to him for the last question of the meeting and allow him the opportunity to voice his concerns.”
Barton, who represents most of Arlington, chose to hold his recent town halls in the small towns of Frost and Milford. He plans to hold a Tarrant County town hall in April.
Barton and Rep. Michael Burgess of Lewisville are the two Tarrant County Republicans to hold town halls in recent weeks. Reps. Kenny Marchant, Kay Granger and Roger Williams have not held town halls.