Dem Rep: Heckling McConnell Is a 'Part of Democracy'

Posted: Jul 09, 2018 2:00 PM
Dem Rep: Heckling McConnell Is a 'Part of Democracy'

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) has no issue with protesters getting in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's face and shouting, "Vote you out!" and "abolish ICE!" They also called him a "turtle head." It's all part of "democracy," Jayapal said on CNN Monday.

Is this the most productive way to get the message across? CNN anchor asked.

"Look, I think people are deeply angry about the fact that kids are in cages and parents have been separated from their families," Jayapal said. "To me, 'vote you out,' it's not what I'm chanting at Mitch McConnell, but if people want to say that somebody should be voted out because they are doing things that undermine America's core democracy, that to me is a part of democracy." 

Trump's immigration policy has gotten "out of control," she added, noting that the administration will likely fail to meet a court deadline that demands they reunite illegal immigrant families by the end of the month.

This is the second time McConnell has been heckled in the past two weeks over immigration. Last time, though, he had his wife to defend him. When protesters confronted McConnell outside a Georgetown event last Tuesday, his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, gave it right back to them, matter-of-factly informing them her husband “is not" separating families at the border. McConnell beamed about her heroics. 

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“I loved it," McConnell said. "It went viral on the Internet. And I've got one tough wife. I'm really proud of her.”

McConnell also disagrees with Jayapal that shouting at lawmakers is an effective way to exercise free speech.

“Look, you know, I'm a big believer in free speech, and sometimes what people say is not great,” he said. “I do think poor behavior is not a great way to convey your views. And I think getting in people's faces in public places and trying to make them uncomfortable certainly is not a great way to sell your point of view."