Texas Congressman Tells Town Hall Attendee To 'Shut Up'

Rep. Joe Barton lost his cool while responding to a question about why he had not supported legislation that would combat violence against women.
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Texas Congressman Tells Town Hall Attendee To 'Shut Up'

"You represent Texas first!" one attendee yelled.

"You. You, sir, shut up," Texas Rep. Joe Barton replied.

That was Barton at a town hall meeting last week.

The Republican congressman was responding to a question about why he had not supported legislation that would combat violence against women.

"On the first bill that I voted against, that's a true statement, and I voted against it because I think that's a state issue, not a federal issue," Barton said.

"Boo, no, boo. Civil rights don't go to states," the audience replied.

But when some audience members started to argue against his reasoning, Barton eventually lost his cool — that's when he said, "Shut up."

Several attendees weren't too happy with his reaction.

"What is this? You don't tell anybody to shut up! You work for us!" one attendee said.

Later, some attendees shared their anger on social media.

But Barton defended his vote when questioned about the incident on MSNBC.

"The fact that somebody wants to make it a federal issue, that's one of the problems, in my opinion, that too many times we're looking to the federal government and making it a federal issue," Barton told MSNBC.

In a statement to several media outlets, he said, "All town halls begin with ground rules, which include that you must be recognized in order to speak."

Barton also told The Dallas Morning News he appreciates "the interest and participation" at every town hall he hosts.

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