Town hall voters fear for country
August 10th, 2011
09:14 PM ET
3 years ago

Town hall voters fear for country

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – A restive crowd vented to Rep. Frank Guinta over pocketbook issues and political wrangling in Washington at a town hall Wednesday.

Questions for the freshman Republican ranged from Medicare reform to immigration, but two topics that raised contention were tax cuts for the wealthy and U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Libya.

Citing corporate tax loopholes, the national debt and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, one man asked: "How can you stand there in front of all of us and take a pledge not to raise taxes?"

During his campaign Guinta promised to oppose any tax increases while in Congress.

"I don't believe that our problem in this country is that we don't receive enough money from taxpayers," Guinta said in response Wednesday, but was drowned out by exclamations of both support and frustration.

One man chimed in: "If they're not spending it wisely, I'm not giving them any more money."

"We're in dire straits here," argued Michelle O'Rourke, a Democrat, who said later she was fearful for the country's future, especially for the middle class. O'Rourke wants to end the Bush-era tax breaks for Americans making more than $250,000 a year.

"We're all going to have differences of opinion," Guinta said. "I personally don't believe that the government spends your money, or anyone's money, as efficiently as it could."

The audience was similarly divided over the debt-ceiling agreement, with some conservative constituents expressing frustration that Republicans had not achieved greater spending cuts in the August 2 compromise.

Several people thanked Guinta for holding the meeting, in part because he was sure to face criticism from some over his support of that deal. On Wednesday he advocated for deeper spending cuts and said the country needs to address both tax and entitlement reform.

"I think you can grow our economy. I think you can be a limited, effective, efficient economy," he said, adding liberals in Washington needed to stop using scare tactics that could prevent serious reforms. "Elected officials over the years haven't been honest with the country."

"Ya think?" someone retorted.

Many in the audience applauded a voter who voiced concern over the amount of tax dollars being spent on the country's involvement in foreign conflicts, particularly in Libya.

During the 90-minute session, Guinta told the crowd he had successfully forged a particular - and surprising - relationship in Washington with Democrat Dennis Kucinich, of Ohio, because of his concerns over U.S. military involvement in the Libyan conflict.


Filed under: Afghanistan • House • Iraq • New Hampshire
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Jon

    Huh. A Republican actually talking to people for once. Will wonders never cease?

    August 10, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. Pat

    Just another scumbag Republican lying and talking trash.

    August 10, 2011 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  3. Larry L

    Another Tea Party weasel with sound bites and no solutions.

    August 10, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  4. A Real American

    Whatever, man. the cat's going to tell his constituents what they want to hear to get their votes and then turn around and do whatever his corporate masters tell him to in order to get campaign funds. Same old same old. Real election reform and make lobbying illegal now!

    August 10, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  5. moderatejoe_boston

    He's walking a thin line. He appears to be taking a moderate-conservative tack. I'm glad he voted for the deal while acknowledging it wasn't enough. He's actually been stronger that I thought he would be. He has Tea Party sympathies but isn't controlled by them, and that's good.

    Like today's CNN Poll sated we need deep cuts in spending and some revenue reform; such as removing the Dem soudbites on corp jets, oil industry credits (they both only amount to $40B) and cut the Bush tax cuts $1.3 over 1o years. Now break out the chain saw and start cutting.

    August 10, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    The voters should hold Rep Guinta and the Tea Party hobbits responsible for the current panic on Wall Street.

    August 10, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  7. Name king

    These austerity measures pushed by the repugs are sending our country into a fee fall, who every try to cut spending in a financial down turn and came out on top. The president need to stop allowing these yahoos to control the conversation, jobs is what the people want us to focus on, because with growth the deficit will fix itself. It won't be fix if the economy is going down and we're steady cutting jobs and programs for the middle class and poor. Ever since this austerity measure by the repugs and the debt ceiling, The markets is realizing that America won't be a demand power anymore so every one is taking their money out of stocks. Because without demand the world is a empty place.

    August 10, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  8. Marjee123

    And of course all we get from republicans is we will do anything to deny President Obama one term. They have crashed the economy, denied the jobs bills the Democrats tried to bring to the floor and are systematically dismantling every safety net the people. Then they sit on their butt and wait for instructions from the Koch Bros, Dick armey and Norquist. What a bunch of traitors.

    August 10, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    Obama's class warfare drum that he and the libs have been beating are going to trigger rioting in the streets here in America. The constant hammering on the "Rich" not paying their share is inflaming the uninformed to take matters into their own hands and take from those awful, evil rich folks. This all may just be the plan that has been brewing for 2 1/2 years.

    August 10, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    Did this guy sign Grover Norquist's pledge to not raise taxes under any circumstances?

    My question to Guinta is this: Why are you putting allegiance to this man above your country? When you took your oath of office, did you you swear to Norquist and put your hand on the latest meeting minutes for his group, the Americans for Tax Reform or did you swear to uphold and protect the US Constitution? (Hint: It's the document that starts with, "We the People," not "We the Corporation").

    Folks, do you realize that Norquist has publicly stated that if the choice were between letting the elderly die and raising taxes, we would just have to console ourselves with photos and memories of the dear departed? (Do an Internet search on Grover Norquist Stephen Colbert and watch the video yourself.)

    How do you feel about a politician who puts his loyalty to an individual above his loyalty to the country and our Constitution?

    How do you feel about a politician who doesn't represent you or your vote, but instead represents one man, Grover Norquist?

    Think about it, folks .... think about it ...

    August 10, 2011 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  11. Herbie Walker

    Another brainless, zombie-conservative arguing from theory–a largely discredited theory, mind you–rather than examining a situation which is vexxing us.

    Apparently, the only way to change things is to VOTE INTELLIGENTLY!

    August 10, 2011 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  12. SecedingfromTexas

    So this ignorant tea party freshman had himself a meeting, got yelled at, and answered no questions intelligently!
    He stuck to the "party line", and that is why I absolutely put these people at the bottom of the swamp. Just
    yesterday, a Texas jerk, Michael Burgess, House Republican, actually agreed with the tea party group he
    was speaking to, that President Obama should be impeached. "It shoul d happen", he said. Why? "To tie things
    up"., Now isn't that just grand. Run America over the cliff because they are too stupid, selfish, greedy, and
    most likely have never gotten this much attention in their lives, to do their jobs. For heaven's sake lets get rid of them before they are there long enough that we have to pay their retirement for eternity. If they are going to
    march to the beat of Norquist and Kochs, let THEM pay their salaries. They are on the payroll now, so lets put
    them "out to pasture" and spend their money on those who need jobs. Infrastructure would be a healthy start.

    August 10, 2011 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  13. oregonian101

    "I think you can grow our economy. I think you can be a limited, effective, efficient economy," he said, adding liberals in Washington needed to stop using scare tactics that could prevent serious reforms. "Elected officials over the years haven't been honest with the country."

    Oh road apples. The Republicans have always used more scare tactics than Liberals. They both use them because that is how you win elections, but, the Republicans have always been more aggressive with those tactics.

    August 10, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  14. cindy

    In the words of one of your own"YOU LIE". your king Norquist and the corporate puppet masters mean more to you than the pledge to the people. Just more hot air...kinda like the space between your ears.

    August 10, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  15. LNB

    End the Bush Tax cuts. The reasoning behind their invocation while we went into wars is still mystifying. Cronyism? But end them. And now, not in 2012. Also, end loopholes so that GE who did not have to pay any taxes last year, will pay into our communities next year. Raise revenue streams by bringing the corporate tax rate back up to where it was under Reagan. Also, let the congresspeople enjoy their socialized medicine, but if they vote to end or tamper with SS or Medicare, or Medicaid, then they have to opt out of their federal plans and go on the free market like the rest of us. That would fix the greedy insurance companies: there'd be so many changes our heads would spin. YEAH!!!

    August 11, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  16. John

    So just cut programs with out finding any way to increase money coming in by some form or another. Now I can see why Washington has so much trouble fixing things. they keep their brains where they sit. I'd love to figure out a way to balance my check book so I have enough to last the month without (having to work two jobs). I have to work more to pay my bills-more money coming in then going out.I'm sure you see the sense in that. Which means they need more coming in then out. but if you just cut taxes(money in) and cut programs you still can't balance your budget. That's like you have to stop eating or using electicity–try it.

    August 11, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  17. T'sah from Virginia

    [... audience applauded a voter who voiced concern over the amount of tax dollars being spent on the country's involvement in foreign conflicts, particularly in Libya.]

    Here is the beginning of the NEXT "stick to the same talking point" coming from the RIGHT – Watch – "IMPEACH President Obama for going into Libya; the S&P downgrade; the market going UP and DOWN while the RICH folks PLAY!!!!" Mark my words – they're already starting –

    Huntsmann will PLAY it -
    Bachmann will SAY it –
    Palin will TWEET it –
    MITTens will SHOT it AFTER Bachmann –
    Perry will PREACH it –
    ginGRINCH will demand it –
    POORlenty will BRAG about it –
    Santorum will compare it with a napkin and then do it

    They will all try to impeach President Obama because their number one goal is to make him a one-term President!! It does not matter how much the economy crash; it does not matter about jobs!!

    August 11, 2011 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  18. Screw the unions

    As a Republican I really think is time to bring the troops back home. Really if you think about it, is time. We need to bring them home and start saving all that money and keep our troops here to defend the homeland! I am not for Ron Paul, but I do think enough is enough and the troops need to come home now!

    August 11, 2011 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  19. kat

    OBAMA is a joke. The country made a big mistake. We CAN change things. Get this clown out of office ASAP

    August 11, 2011 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  20. Elegant Elephant

    In a respectful manner I exclaim...This sounds like Bullsh_t! Unfortunately he is part of the problem...in fact all of them are...from the so called T-Party, to the Republicans and Democrats. This entire group of so called leaders could not negotiate or compromise. They all went to Washington absent the most essential tool necessary as if they were kids that went to school without a pencil! I keep hearing the word "Entitlement" come from their mouths and they are pointing directly at Social Security! The money these idiots have pulled out of my paycheck does not state that I am paying into an Entitlement Program, so what gives them the right to borrow from it...to take from it...to decided whether I should receive any benefit from it in my golden years. Who is this Congress? I am amongst the Middle Class, I carry the poor, and I am forced to bow to the rich, who in the hell are these people that claim to represent me! I hear the Democrats rise on my behalf, I don't hear it from the Republicans, and well...the Tea-Partiers are somewhere over a rainbow learning how to spell CASH...However each time it comes out CHAOS! Yes we fear for our country...for we are without REPRESENTATION!

    August 11, 2011 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  21. WKNDTHG

    Time to face the music rethugs...

    August 11, 2011 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  22. Michael MN

    Any one who takes a pledge to enact the wishes of one man over the needs of the country should tared and feathered and tried for Treason

    August 11, 2011 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  23. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that there is a lot to oversee and make sure that it doesn't hurt our citizens. The companies that make the products we consume and use don't always care about safety. That is why we need many regulators to see what is safe and what isn't. The Republicans don't like this idea of watching businesses to make sure they do the proper thing. I wish they would learn this lesson quickly.

    August 11, 2011 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  24. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Another corporatist cult zombie opens his robotic mouth to spout more GOBPbaggin' lies. If "government does spend wisely enough" is the best talking point they have, good luck. Corporations aren't spending at all, so if you want to get the economy moving his job is to raise taxes, close corporate tax loopholes and start figuring out how to spend more wisely. If you read his words carefully, what he's really saying is that the teatards (a) don't know how to spend tax dollars wisely or (b) don't care to learn how to spend tax dollars wisely. Neither is an approach that helps America, though "we care for the greedy, not the needy" will certainly play well with the cult leaders that programmed this zombie.

    August 11, 2011 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  25. T'sah from Virginia

    oops, "MITTens will SHOUT it.." not SHOT it... But then again, he might take a few "SHOTS" and call it a day...

    August 11, 2011 07:34 am at 7:34 am |