Sen. John McCain got an earful last night at a town-hall meeting in Tucson. The Arizona Daily Star reports:
It didn’t help the tenor that there were far too many people for the 150-seat venue at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church on the northwest side. The doors were locked and people turned away 45 minutes before the event even started.
As McCain entered, waving, he was greeted by the standard applause, and by sustained chanting of “Where are the jobs?”
Although the crowd by applause agreed to some ground rules – no yelling, no shouting, respecting one another – they didn’t mean it.
The catcalls and interruptions started early into his introductory comments, which McCain largely used to make his case that the economic situation has deteriorated under the Obama administration. Using a chart with the title “He’s making it worse,” McCain said there are fewer jobs, higher gas prices, more regulations and lower housing values since the inauguration.
When McCain said he supports a federal hiring freeze, one woman yelled out, “including the military?”
When he said he wanted to cut the corporate tax rate by as much as a third, it triggered such a round of angry outbursts and smatterings of applause that McCain asked again for “common courtesy.”
When he said he wanted to close loopholes in the tax code, including subsidies for ethanol and sugar, someone yelled, “oil!”
The first audience speaker was booed by half the room and applauded by the other when he described himself as a progressive, and demanded to know why McCain won’t support higher taxes on the wealthy.
A chorus of “no” greeted McCain’s response: “I think we all want to be rich.”