GOP Takes an Anti-Washington Message to Town Halls

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After a short film describing a typical day, Renacci walked his constituents through a 30-minute slide presentation that focused on steps he and House Republican colleagues had taken to spur job growth, promote diverse sources of homegrown energy and tame the federal deficit.

He made no apologies for opposing Obama’s health care law, citing it as a reason why many businesses had decided not to expand their work force.

“I am definitely one of those people who have voted to repeal Obamacare 40 times,” he said.

During a question-and-answer session, Jared Bauman, a 26-year-old physical therapist, said he agreed with Renacci on the flaws of the health care law but said he had grown impatient with the House’s repeated attempts to repeal the law.

“It just kind of gets a little frustrating. I start to roll my eyes. OK, we’re not getting anywhere,” he said.

When several attendees pressed the congressman to support comprehensive immigration reform, Renacci said the immigration system was broken but securing the border had to be the first priority. He repeatedly cited the length of the Senate bill as a reason to oppose it.

“We’ll get immigration reform right by making sure we avoid mistakes of the past. You know what the mistakes of the past are? Let’s throw 2,400 pages in a big bill, let’s throw it out there, let’s let people understand it after we pass it,” Renacci said. “That’s not going to happen again.”

Many of his constituents’ questions and comments turned to a general unease with Congress and the Obama administration.

“Is everyone in Washington that out of touch?” asked one man.

Renacci took the comment in stride, joking about Washington’s reputation for being a foreign place to the rest of the nation while also adding: “Look there are some really good people in Washington.”

(Photo; AP)

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