Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton told a constituent at his town hall last weekend to “shut up.”
Barton was asked a question during his town hall regarding legislation on violence against women, and his reply irked the audience.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Now given your voting record opposing legislation protecting women from violence, will you make a commitment to us today, make a promise, that you will reach out to Congresswoman Jackie Speier and work with her to see this bill successfully through Congress?
BARTON: Let me comment on a number of things that you’re – on the first bill that I voted against, that’s a true statement, and I voted against it because I think that’s a state issue not a federal issue, there are –
AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Boo! No!
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Civil rights don’t go to states.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: It’s violence against women, that’s a national issue. That is an issue that impacts everyone everywhere, not only in this country but everywhere.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Civil rights.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You represent Texas first.
BARTON: You, you sir shut up.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: [jeers] You don’t tell anybody to shut up, you work for us.
Speaking to the Huffington Post, Barton said that town halls have ground rules including that “you must be recognized in order to speak.”
“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,” he said.
“I did, however, return to him for the last question of the meeting and allow him the opportunity to voice his concerns.”