Things got heated at a town hall meeting in Texas between constituents and Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Barton after the congressman told a man in the audience to “shut up.”
According to the Dallas News, the back-and-forth began with a man posing a question to Barton about pledging to support the Violence Against Women Act.
“Given your voting record opposing legislation protecting women from violence, will you make a commitment to us today, make a promise, that you will reach out to Congresswoman Jackie Speier and work with her to see this bill successfully through Congress,” the man asked.
Barton, who represents Arlington and some surrounding areas, drew some jeers when he referred to the matter as an issue for states, not the federal government, to address.
“It’s violence against women, that’s a national issue. That is an issue that impacts everyone everywhere,” an unidentified second man yelled back.
The tensions then escalated further when Barton said, "You, sir, shut up."
The comment drew many angry messages toward Barton on his Facebook page. But one liberal audience member said he didn't think the answer should be used as a "gotcha moment" against Barton.
Kirk Lee wrote:
The "shut up" came when a gentleman asked a question, crowd didn't like the answer, and he was trying to shout over a chorus of boos. I believe Rep. Barton was embarrassed by it and it was not representative of his attitude as a whole. I know if I had been in his shoes I would have said much worse. FYI, I did not vote for him, don't intend to vote for him but this should not be a "gotcha" moment to used against him as representative of how his town hall went.
Watch the town hall video above.