GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz invites armed militias to his town halls to intimidate his own constituents.
A lawmaker should know his platform’s terrible when he has to call on his armed militia friends to protect him from all the scary mothers and grandmothers in his district. Alas, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) may not be the brightest bulb in President Donald Trump’s chandelier.
After putting forth a bill to end the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the GOP congressman’s heading home to western Florida’s Panhandle. There, he’s got a couple of town hall events planned so he can talk face-to-face with people in his district. Unfortunately for Matt Gaetz, many of his constituents are furious with him.
For starters, the Democratic Women’s Club of Escambia County has a massive protest planned for Gaetz’s Feb. 23 event at Grover T’s BBQ Restaurant in Milton. So how does he respond? With a veiled threat via Twitter.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 14, 2017
The folks from Matt Gaetz’s local Bikers for Trump chapter may not look particularly scary…
Northwest Florida Bikers For Trump would like to take a moment and Thank Matt Gaetz for your assistance. pic.twitter.com/tmBcL5ThGl
— Bernadette (@Bernade88105031) January 19, 2017
…But make no mistake: Bikers for Trump’s agenda clearly includes intimidating protesters who oppose Donald Trump’s and the GOP’s agenda.
— OUR PRESIDENT TRUMP (@PrayHealourland) January 29, 2017
But wait…That’s not all. The Huffington Post reports Geoff Ross, a local militia leader, sent out a call to action on his Facebook page.
I need all patriots in attendance to protect Congressman Gaetz from any potential disruption of his speech. Concealed carry permit holders most welcome – don’t forget your ammo.
The original post was either deleted or made private. But when a local mom called Matt Gaetz out on Facebook, he blandly replied:
“Everyone is welcome to attend and participate in a peaceful, non-distruptive manner. That is exactly what my friend Geoff Ross intends to do.”
— Kelly P. Bushnell (@kpbushnell) February 7, 2017
He then disingenuously added:
“My liberal friends should know that not every gathering of Republicans exercising their rights is dangerous.”
HuffPo adds this isn’t the first time Gaetz has tried to intimidate his local Democratic Women’s Club.
Last week, the club hired an off-duty police officer to guard its 75-person monthly meeting after the group said Ross threatened to come, bearing guns.
Nonetheless, Evalyn Narramore — whose Linked In profile displays a photo with her holding a grand child — added:
“My husband jokes and says, ‘I’m going to buy you a Kevlar vest. But we decided we aren’t going to let this guy scare us away if that’s what he thinks he’s doing. We’re going to go forward with our protest as planned.”
If Rep. Matt Gaetz truly believed in the right to peacefully gather in support of issues we support or oppose, then why does he need backup from the armed thugs he calls friends? Why can’t he just face his constituents and try to defend his toxic agenda? Despite his party’s contempt for women, this GOP congressman is obviously afraid of them.
That also seems to be the conclusion Jen Hayden from Daily Kos has reached, as she hilariously wrote:
Guess he thinks those tough bikers are going to protect him from all the mothers and grandmothers coming to have a word with him about the environment, civil rights, and the Affordable Care Act.
WATCH: Matt Gaetz and other GOP reps want to gut the EPA and the DOE.
Newsy reports that in addition to Matt Gaetz’s EPA elimination bill, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) has introduced a bill to ditch the Dept. of Education. Back in the 1990s, the GOP proposed eliminating entire departments of the U.S. government. Now, for the first time, they may have enough votes to do it, and a president who’d sign it.