Rep.-elect Dean Phillips (D-MN-03) hosted his first town hall Monday night in Bloomington, where he was booed by supporters for claiming that “half of the country” voted for President Donald Trump.
“It doesn’t matter what any one of us thinks of him, he was elected by people in this country. And, listen this is really important: that’s why I ask the one thing you do is start listening. Ask people not ‘why did you vote for Donald Trump.’ Ask people what they wanted to achieve as him as their messenger,” Phillips said towards the end of the event.
“If we don’t start understanding, because half of the country—over half—at that time voted for him,” Phillips continued, but was cut of by jeers from the audience.
“Not in real numbers—you understand my point. He won the election, whether it was fair and square that’s something that probably will be investigated,” he responded. “Nonetheless, my point is this: the fact is this country needed a wake up call, we got a wake up call.”
“By the way, you all know how I feel about this president. Every single one of you should know how I feel about this president,” Phillips added. “It was because of that election that I woke up the next morning, and promised my daughters that I would do something. The same way that everybody in this room has done something. That’s how we’re going to get out of this.”
Phillips also addressed his support of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) for the next Speaker of House. On the campaign trail, Phillips repeatedly called for new leadership in the Democratic Party, which he acknowledged Monday night.
“The other thing we did is we had leadership elections in the Democratic caucus. And as all of you know, I’ve probably said it a thousand times, I want to see new leadership on both sides of the aisle in Washington in both houses of Congress. And there’s good news and bad news,” Phillips said.
“The bad news is that not one person, not one person, ran against any of the top three leaders in the Democratic caucus in Washington. Nobody ran against Nancy Pelosi. Nobody ran against Steny Hoyer, and nobody ran against Jim Clyburn, which was disappointing, because there all wonderful people but I do believe it’s time for change,” he continued, saying that “change sometimes takes time.”
Phillips said Monday night that he will continue to hold town halls during his first term in Congress, and plans to do so at least once every quarter.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Dean Phillips” by Dean Phillips.
Background Photo “Dean Phillips’ Town Hall Crowd” by Dean Phillips.