Often rowdy crowd challenges U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson at town hall

An unfriendly crowd challenged U.S. Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina on several of his stances at a town hall at Aiken Tech Monday night. Some in the audience say it was an important exercise of their first amendment rights, but other say it was disrespectful.
An unfriendly crowd challenged U.S. Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina on several of his stances at a town hall at Aiken Tech Monday night. Some in the audience say it was an important exercise of their first amendment rights, but other say it was disrespectful.

GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (WJBF) – An unfriendly crowd challenged U.S. Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina on several of his stances at a town hall at Aiken Tech Monday night.

Some in the audience say it was an important exercise of their first amendment rights, but other say it was disrespectful.

The Republican pledged his commitment to small businesses and a strong national defense, among other GOP initiatives.

“I was just coming out to see what the Congressman had to say,” said attendee Brandon Knight.

But an often rowdy audience frequently drowned out Rep. Wilson’s words.

Rep. Wilson received national attention after yelling, “You lie!” at President Obama during a Congressional address in 2009, while the then-president was outlining his proposal for health care reform.

Wilson later apologized for the outburst, but the crowd threw it back in his face as he was trying to speak about problems with the affordable care act. They chanted, “You lie!”

“All politicians should know that their constittuents are watching now more than ever,” said Karin Sisk of Indivisible Aiken.

The goal of Indivisible Aiken is to resist the Trump administration. Sisk says they meet at a coffee shop every week, and at least 100 members attended the town hall.

Several politicians have faced angry constituents since Trump’s election.

Some say this type of behavior is out of line.

“It was not respectful whatsoever,” Knight said. “It was out of control, basically. We had a a bunch of people that wasn’t here to hear what they had to say.”

But activists say they want their representatives to hear their voices as well.

“I think it was very informative…for Mr. Wilson in terms of finding out that he has constituents that don’t agree with a lot of his viewpoints,” Sisk said. “And we do agree with some.”

NewsChannel 6 did not have the chance to speak with Representative Wilson after the town hall. He did take individual questions from his constituents, and early in the town hall he said he is grateful to represent the district, although he and his constituents may not always agree.

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