Ex-lawmaker urges Americans to publicly confront officials
© Getty Images

Former Republican Rep. David Jolly (Fla.) on Sunday called on people to publicly confront elected officials, saying "it is who we are as Americans."

"Just gonna say it. I don't think there's anything wrong with confronting elected officials in public. Nothing. Zero. We should do more of it," Jolly wrote on Twitter.

"It is who we are as Americans. Channel Thoreau. Do it. No politician was conscripted to serve. They asked for the opportunity," he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jolly's comment came amid concerns over the number of officials — most of them Republicans — who have recently been confronted by protesters in public.

On Friday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was confronted by a group of people at a restaurant in Louisville, Ky.

Separately on Friday, protesters in Florida confronted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), calling her a "communist" and shouting pro-Trump phrases at her.

Additionally, a pair of protesters last week confronted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in an airport and questioned him on his vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughScalise: Investigations into Trump by House Democrats could backfire Schumer’s headaches to multiply in next Congress Top Judiciary Dem: No plans to investigate or impeach Kavanaugh MORE

Protesters have also confronted individuals within the Trump administration, including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. 

Nielsen was confronted earlier this year at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., where protesters yelled “shame” at her over the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. Sanders, meanwhile, was asked to leave a restaurant in Lexington, Va., earlier this year because of her work in the White House.

Both of those incidents attracted conservative criticism of the left.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) also faced criticism earlier this year for calling on members of the public to confront Trump administration figures and saying that she didn't feel sympathy for officials who had been publicly heckled. 

Jolly, who left office in January 2017 after he lost a reelection bid to Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), recently left the Republican Party and re-registered with no party affiliation. Jolly represented Florida's 13th Congressional District from 2014 to 2017.

Jolly is also a frequent critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to oust Nielsen as early as this week: report California wildfire becomes deadliest in state’s history Sinema’s Senate win cheered by LGBTQ groups MORE and earlier this year called on voters to support Democrats in the midterms if they want to see gun control legislation passed.