Sen. Marco Rubio won’t participate in town hall meetings because he says political activists will crash them to create a media spectacle of people who “heckle and scream at me in front of cameras.”
“They are not town halls anymore,” the Florida Republican told CBS4-Miami’s Jim DeFede on Sunday. “What these groups really want is for me to schedule a public forum, they then organize three, four, five, six hundred liberal activists in the two counties or wherever I am in the state.”
While Rubio has avoided town halls, fellow Republicans in Florida and around the nation have shown up at public forums and taken the heat. Some Republicans have refused, with Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert invoking the 2011 shooting of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a Democrat.
“I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning my offices were open to the public,” Giffords said on Twitter. “To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.”