“I don’t know man, because town halls, people get rude and stupid ― on both sides,” the senator told the man.
A community organizer for the Florida chapter of the Service Employees International Union tweeted a video of the encounter, which happened in a lecture hall at Florida International University, where Rubio teaches a class. The questioner appears to be Rafael Velasquez, a member of the Florida Democratic party’s board of trustees.
The senator is one of several Republican members of Congress struggling with angry constituents as lawmakers take a break from Washington, D.C. Instead of getting yelled at for working with President Donald Trump to repeal Obamacare, Rubio and many other Republicans decided not to hold any public forums.
Rubio’s constituents held a town hall on his behalf Thursday night, with an empty suit standing in for the senator. One woman pleaded with the suit not to repeal Obamacare, since doing so would leave her uninsured, unable to afford her medication, and then confined to a wheelchair and unemployed.
The man confronting Rubio earlier on Thursday suggested a town hall would allow the senator to hear from the people his represents, but Rubio said he didn’t need to.
“I’ve heard the people,” Rubio said. “I ran for office. I told everybody I was against Obamacare. I told everybody I was in favor of the things I was in favor of. I’m gonna do what I told people I was going to do.”