Rubio brushes off demonstrator asking about town halls

Rubio brushes off demonstrator asking about town halls
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHaley courts Republicans after losing Trump's favor Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal MORE was confronted on Thursday by a demonstrator questioning whether the Florida Republican would hold a town hall meeting.

“Senator, I thought you were in Europe,” an unidentified man tells Rubio in footage of their exchange posted on Twitter by Tomas Kennedy, whose Twitter lists him as a community organizer for SEIU Florida.

"I saw all these missing child posters all over town. I’m glad you’re OK, but are you going to host a town hall? There’s a constituent town hall today. Senator, we need to hear from you — your constituents.”


Rubio mostly brushed off the comments, continuing on his way and only responding, “Good to see you, man." The incident took place at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, the Orlando Weekly reported.

Rubio defended his lack of recent town halls later Thursday during a visit to Florida International University, according to another tweet from the liberal-leaning demonstrator.

"Do me a favor and be respectful, all right?" Rubio told the demonstrator. When asked about conducting a town hall, Rubio noted that people on both sides of the aisle can get "rude."

"I've heard the people," Rubio continued. "I ran for office, I told everybody I was against ObamaCare, I told everybody that I was in favor of the things that I was in favor of."

"I'm going to do what I told people I'm going to do. How unfair would it be to the people that voted for me to now change my opinion?"

The Orlando Weekly said Rubio was absent during a scheduled “town hall” in Tampa late Wednesday. But Rubio’s press secretary told the news publication he was not present as “the organizers are deceiving people by falsely advertising this event.”

The Miami New Times said Rubio also plans on skipping a separate “town hall” in Miami on Thursday evening, saying the meeting was organized by the Miami chapter of the nationwide group Indivisible Movement.

Thursday's incident comes as GOP lawmakers face tough crowds during this week’s congressional recess, with attendees pushing them on President Trump's agenda, including repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

Trump claimed in a tweet Tuesday that the “so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists."