Republican Congressman Dave Trott, of Michigan’s 11th district, who, by the way, got rich foreclosing on the homes of Michiganders, has taken a lot of heat lately for refusing to meet with his constituents. Well, this past Saturday, Trott finally agreed to come out of hiding and meet with voters in Novi, and I think it’s safe to say that things didn’t go well. While several hundred people were turned away from the venue by security guards, those who did make it though the gauntlet let the Congressman know how they felt about everything from Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, to his support of anti-public education crusader Betsy DeVos. And it really didn’t look good for the Congressman. Fortunately, though, a Republican strategist, who was on hand to assist Trott, had a brilliant idea. Instead of waiting for the press to run videos of the Congressman standing at the podium, being yelled at by constituents who are about to lose their access to healthcare, this strategist, who was picked up on a hot mic just after the event, suggested that they be proactive, and send an isolated clip from the town hall meeting out to conservative media organizations in hopes of establishing a different narrative. Here, with more on what happened, is a clip from the Washington Post.
On Saturday, Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mich.) had just wrapped up a boisterous town hall meeting in Novi, northwest of Detroit, and he was headed backstage — where a member of his team brainstormed an angle for the news media.
After Trott defended the Trump administration’s budget increase for defense funding, paid for by cuts to discretionary spending, he was booed in a politically potent way.
“We’re going to take that part where they’re booing funding the military, and I’m gonna get somebody to write a story, and we’re going to promote the s— out of that,” Republican strategist Stu Sandler could be heard saying on a video recorded by local TV station WDIV and uploaded by the district’s local branch of the Indivisible project…
And that’s exactly what happened. Sander got the right wing press to focus on what he referred to as the “un-American” sentiment of those who had come out to confront their Congressman. The following video is from Monday morning’s episode of Fox and Friends. The show’s co-host, Ainsley Earhardt, introduced the segment by saying, “Another congressman booed at a town hall — this time, for supporting our troops.”
“Well, I think several hundred people in that room don’t support the military, but I think it’s important,” Trott said after Earhardt showed the clip.
And, as you might imagine, that’s not exactly sitting well with Trott’s constituents, who don’t see themselves as being “un-American” malcontents for asking about health insurance and public education.
Mark Barbieri, a constituent of Trott’s who attended the town hall to share his diabetic son’s experience under Obamacare, had the following to say when asked about the Congressman’s comments on Fox. “Calling an entire crowd of concerned citizens ‘un-American’ is no way for an elected official to treat their constituents,” he said. “I am literally fighting for my son’s life, and to be called ‘un-American’ is beyond the pale.”
And, for what it’s worth, several in the audience have come forward to say that they weren’t booing the fact that Trott voted to increase pay for our men and women in uniform, but the fact that the Congressman was hiding behind the military pay raise to justify cuts to services they depend on.
Here’s video of Sandler behind the scenes, strategizing as to how they might spin this in their favor.
Oh, in related news, I heard from someone today who knows people that went to high school with Representative Trott that he absolutely hated it when he classmates referred to him as “Little Davy Trott,” so, if he ever has another town hall, you now know what to put on your sign.