New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday chastised his fellow Republicans for canceling or avoiding holding town hall meetings with their constituents in the wake of anger from some voters over President Donald Trump.
“Welcome to the real world of responsibility,” said Christie, speaking with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “I said to some folks the other night, that for the first time, I hear members of the House not complaining when people don’t know who they are.”
Voters, many of them liberals harshly critical of Trump or the GOP’s plans to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law, have swarmed the town hall meetings that lawmakers typically hold when Congress is on recess. The activity, not unlike the backlash aimed at Democrats in 2009 when they were in the majority, has prompted some Republicans to avoid hosting in-person meetings with constituents.
Christie, who said he has hosted more than 160 town halls during his seven years as governor of New Jersey, said the anger is no excuse for Republicans not to show.
“This happens on both sides of the aisle. The fact is that right now, the heat is on the Republicans. It’s on us,” he told Tapper. “And I said this at a meeting with the governors yesterday, that we asked for authority to change the country. We now have two-thirds of the statehouses in America, we have the House, we have the Senate and we have the White House.
“It’s now on us to produce results, and one of the things that we need to do is engage with the public.”
“Now, we understand that a lot of these protesters are professional protesters, people with an agenda, OK,” he added, citing organized protests by teachers unions at his own town halls as an example. “But you have to work through that, and you’ve got to stand up, let them yell themselves out.”