Republican Rep. Dave Brat sounded like Donald Trump when he compared his constituents who have criticized him over health care to the white supremacists who rioted and murdered in Virginia.
Virginia Rep. Dave Brat compared the constituents in his district to the murderous white supremacists who created havoc in his own state over the weekend.
The tea party Republican has represented the 7th Congressional District since his shocking upset in 2014, when he successfully challenged then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for being insufficiently conservative. Brat has complained for months about constituents criticizing him at town halls, saying in January, “Since Obamacare and these issues have come up, the women are in my grill no matter where I go.”
On Saturday, Brat told Fox News he said he “got a taste” of vitriol like the white supremacists at his own town hall. He described citizens as “hard-edged elements,” comparable to the racists who yelled “Heil Trump.”
Brat’s claims echo Donald Trump, who refused to initially condemn the attacks, only describing violence as being perpetrated by “many sides” at the event. Later, after almost 72 hours of criticism, Trump issued a perfunctory and tepid condemnation, later undermined by tweets blaming the media for the enormous controversy.
Brat was asked by CNN if it was important for Trump to condemn the white supremacists, and he agreed, then piled on the equivocation.
“I got yelled at by 700 people swearing at me,” he complained, “and no call out from the media about, you know, to my senators who are Democrats in my state to say, hey, do you condone the hatred — 700 leftists, not Democrats. Far left.”
Brat made the same complaint on Fox News.
“The hard left came out and the Women’s March. And I was getting caustic comments,” he said. “I got booed at my town hall by 700 people.”
HOST: Just to be clear though, you do believe that it would be important for the president to call out white supremacists, and these racist bigots who have, who have come here and have been emboldened to have this event today in Virginia?
BRAT: Absolutely, and that’s what I mean, that it is interesting that the mainstream media, when I got attacked at my town hall, so to answer your question, but I got yelled at by 700 people swearing at me — and no call out from the media about, you know, to my senators who are Democrats in my state to say, hey, do you condone the hatred — 700 leftists, not Democrats. Far left. Booed the preacher when we prayed at the opening. Yelled at me, swore at me. And, never a statement, you know, from the governor or my Democrat friends on that.
Brat’s constituents criticized him for his support of the effort to repeal Obamacare, which would have cut Medicaid by over $700 billion and ripped health insurance away from over 20 million people.
The legislation was extremely unpopular, and despite massive opposition to it, Brat and his fellow Republicans followed Trump and supported its passage, igniting nationwide outcry toward the bill’s draconian contents. That was what motivated the passion at Brat’s town hall.
EMILY’s List Executive Director Emily Cain blasted Brat’s comments in a statement.
“It is disgusting that Dave Brat would compare the outrage of his own constituents over his vote to rip health care away from millions of Americans to the racist white supremacist attacks in Charlottesville this weekend,” she said. “Instead of using his platform to call for healing after a deeply horrifying weekend of violence, Dave Brat somehow thought it would be appropriate to whine about his own unpopularity. Concerned families are in no way comparable to neo-Nazi assaults on our nation’s diversity.”
Brat has already attracted several Democratic challengers who are seeking to replace him in the 2018 midterm election. Comparing voters in Virginia to white supremacists won’t make his job any easier.