— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 23, 2017
A few weeks ago, GOP town halls began to go off the rails when House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz was jeered and booed in Utah by angry voters, including conservatives, who shouted, “Do your job!” Tonight in Arkansas, Senator Tom Cotton took his turn fending off confrontations by constituents (we’ll cover several instances here), including one 7-year-old boy who brought down the house.
Young Toby asked the final question, which may or may not have been scheduled that way, but Cotton sure ended the show in swift order. Of course, Cotton expected a sweet question. That much was obvious when he gave an “Awww!” sort of smile when Toby took the mic. Yet Toby was concerned about the potential GOP defunding of PBS — which would put all of his favorite kids’ programs on the chopping block — and he went in for blood:
“I’m Toby. Donald Trump makes Mexicans not important to people who are in Arkansas who like Mexicans, like me, my grandma. And he is deleting all the parks and PBS Kids just to make a wall, and he shouldn’t do that. He shouldn’t do all that stuff just for the wall.”
Well, Cotton did not take this grilling well and swiftly excused himself for “another appointment,” so the #Toby4President hashtag soon rode high on Twitter. Here’s the young activist in action after his impressive interrogation display. Matt Mershon of KATV snapped this photo.
There were many other clashes — all of which caused the crowd to erupt — throughout the evening. In this clip, a man asked Cotton how he can call himself a Christian while “supporting the policies of a man who wants to grab women by the pu**y.” Yowch.
Here, a woman — whose husband is dying and cannot afford insurance — asked Cotton what type of insurance he has. She really lets him have it.
— CNN (@CNN) February 22, 2017
In this video, a woman prompted the crowd to roar when she introduced herself: “I’m Mary from Fayetteville, and I’m not a paid protester.”
— 4029news (@4029news) February 23, 2017
Finally, this video features a challenge from a young woman with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which can cause life-threatening complications from disorders affecting connective tissues and blood vessels. She demanded to know whether Cotton would commit to replacing the Affordable Care Act: “Without coverage for preexisting conditions, I will die.”
She continued for quite some time while constituents booed Cotton. He had the most terrible evening at his own town hall.
This is a young woman challenging Cotton on ACA replacement plan. 2000 here inside. pic.twitter.com/bBEqIVuzoF
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) February 22, 2017