No matter how bad your Monday may have been, odds are it wasn’t nearly as bad as the one Iowa Rep. Rod Blum experienced this week.
Blum, a two-term Republican congressman whose district narrowly went for Donald Trump in the last election, started his day with what was supposed to be a TV friendly interview with ABC affiliate KCRG at a local elementary school. There, surrounded by a conspicuously all-black group of children, the white, male Blum was asked to explain why he planned to screen attendees of his upcoming town hall, scheduled for later that night, to ensure that only people who lived in his district were attending.
“I don’t represent all Iowans—I represent the First District of Iowa,” Blum insisted. “That would be like saying, ‘Shouldn’t I be able to, even though I live in Dubuque, be able to go vote in Iowa City during the election because I’d like to vote in that district instead?”
“Would you still take donations from a Republican in Iowa City?” KCRG reporter Josh Scheinblum replied, at which point Blum removed his microphone, and stormed out of the interview.
Oh, and if you’re curious, Blum’s largest source of money in the 2016 campaign was the very Iowa-based “North Carolina Leadership Fund.”
But Blum’s bad day wasn’t over yet.
At his town hall that night, Blum was asked by a constituent whether, in fact, he would take out-of-district contributions.
“This is an official event as a congressman, this isn’t a political event,” Blum insisted. “So when we’re talking about contributions coming from outside the district, that’s a political thing.”
Oh, OK then. Not surprisingly, Blum’s answer was met with a chorus of boos.
But the night’s biggest fireworks came when the Freedom Caucus member was forced to defend his recent vote in favor of the GOP’s monstrous American Health Care Act.
“If you’re getting your insurance through Medicare, nothing’s going to change. Nothing’s going to change,” Blum told his constituents, who began grumbling their disapproval. “If you’re currently getting your health insurance through Medicaid nothing’s going to change...”
At that point, the crowd erupted in angry jeers.
Blum also flubbed a back and forth with a recent heart attack survivor worried about the government funding for the individual health care market.
“It won’t last forever, and I can’t possibly say in eight years that that’s depleted, government will replenish that,” Blum said, as the crowd began to boo. “I can’t forever see them saying—well, no, I probably won’t be there. I probably won’t be there then.”
“They don’t want me there either!” he continued, as the crowd got angrier.
Still, despite the one-two punch of walking out on a bunch of elementary school kids, and getting heckled by a high school auditorium of angry constituents, Blum attempted to put a good spin on his bad day, tweeting that his town hall was a “great discussion!”