Politics

McClintock Goes Into Overtime in Town Hall Meeting

California Republican congressman needed police escort to leave hall last time out

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., heard some anger on Tuesday, but didn’t need a police escort this time. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo).

After being escorted by police from a rambunctious town hall meeting a couple weeks ago, California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock stayed late at another on Tuesday.

An estimated 900 people showed up for Tuesday’s meeting in the small town of Mariposa. McClintock’s stops in Mariposa usually see 60 to 80 people, the San Francisco Chronicle noted.

Many of the questions McClintock faced were about President Donald Trump, whom the congressman has defended. Some in the audience held signs that read “Dump Tom McTrump.”

Suzanne Eckes-Wahl asked McClintock if he thought Trump was “intellectually” and “emotionally” capable of being president, to which McClintock responded by comparing him to Theodore Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson.

Carolin Frank, who is a professor at UC Merced, held a sign that said “Man made climate change is real,” but McClintock said he would oppose environmental regulations that would “wreck the economy.”

“Climate change has been going on for 4 billion years,” he said. “The planet has been warming on and off since the last Ice Age.”

While a large part of the crowd was wearing trademark Trump “Make America Great Again” red caps and showing other signs of support for the president, others wore stickers stating their occupation and their ZIP Code — like “Welder 94338,” and “Park employee 95318,” — pushing back against criticism, including that of Trump, that the anger in some town halls had been sown by out of towners and activists.

More than half a dozen of California Highway Patrol officers were at the auditorium, the Los Angeles Times reported. But unlike his last event in the district, they weren’t pressed into service. McClintock stayed an hour later than scheduled and the auditorium was only about half full by the time he left, the Times reported. 

Asked by reporters if he had advice for fellow Republicans who are facing rowdy crowds at their town hall events, McClintock replied, “Get the biggest room you can.”

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