Hundreds of liberals swarmed to a town hall meeting held by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) on Friday. The crowd yelled, jeered, and booed Harris at the event, which took place in the congressman’s reliably conservative district.
According to a report by the Baltimore Sun, members of the crowd held signs that read, “Dr. Harris, do no harm” and “Impeach Trump.”
Harris, a physician who earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins University and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve during Operation Desert Storm, is one of the most conservative members in the House of Representatives and a member of the House Freedom Caucus, which made headlines recently for its opposition to the American Health Care Act. The AHCA was backed by House GOP leadership and by President Donald Trump, but it failed to garner adequate support before being pulled from consideration by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on March 24.
At the town hall meeting, which the Baltimore Sun reported was attended by about 900 people, Harris sparred with liberals and fought continuously to keep control of the event.
During one contentious moment, Harris threatened to remove a woman who abruptly yelled out during his presentation on improving treatment for Alzheimer’s patients. Someone in the crowd then yelled to Harris the individual didn’t care to hear about Alzheimer’s disease, to which Harris fiercely responded, “You may not want to hear about Alzheimer’s now, but you will at some point in your life. You will.”
Meanwhile, Harris was met with a cascade of boos from the audience.
At another point during the hour-long presentation, Harris faced harsh criticism from the crowd for his support of restructuring Medicaid so that states have greater control over the entitlement program, a proposal called “block-granting.” Harris called it an “inconvenient truth,” a reference to Al Gore’s infamous film about global warming, that Medicaid doesn’t provide high-quality care. Unsurprisingly, the crowd yelled and booed in response.
Harris also defended the proposition of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Most Americans actually want a secure border,” Harris said, which was followed by chants from the crowd of “no wall.”
In one particularly raucous moment, Harris said, “It was up to the voters of America to decide if that was important,” referring to whether Trump should release his tax returns. Harris reportedly shrugged his shoulders and smiled, causing the crowd to scream and boo.
Harris isn’t the only Republican to face large, mostly hostile town hall crowds in recent months. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) faced a similarly angry crowd one week ago at a town hall meeting, and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) endured shouting matches at a town hall meeting he held in his deep-red state on Friday.