Congressman Fitzpatrick holds town hall in Bensalem

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 11:34AM
Brian Fitzpatrick holds town hall meeting. Christie Ileto reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on August 22, 2017.

BENSALEM, Pa. - With questions submitted in advance, freshman congressman Brian Fitzpatrick explained to Bucks County residents about where he stood with immigration, foreign affairs and even on whether Donald Trump is fit to serve as president.

A tame crowd grew passionate when the question was posed.

"Answer the question," a man in the crowd shouted.

When the question was asked again by reporters, Fitzpatrick replied, "I'm not a psychologist."

Then he was asked by reporters what does his gut tell him.

"Well, we'll see, we'll see how this all plays out," Fitzpatrick said.

Some think Fitzpatrick handled that question the right way.

"He didn't answer that question, I don't think he should have," Peter Paletina of Northampton Township, Pa. said.

One-hundred-twenty residents from the 8th district were selected at random after registering to attend.

Earlier this year, large, vocal crowds attended Republican town halls, angry about health care, immigration and Russian meddling in the election.

In some cases, Fitzpatrick, a moderate Republican, has stood his ground against Trump, including on climate change and calling what happened in Charlottesville domestic terrorism.

The venue's small size kept many constituents from attending. Some of them protested outside the Bensalem Municipal Building.

"It's by lottery, it's by invite. It was easier getting tickets for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw on Friday night than getting into here," Joe Kraher of Bensalem said.

Organizers argue the smaller venue allowed for more meaningful engagement.

"I think it was a nice forum, and he should have more of them. But I certainly disagree with him spouting his party line, where he claims to be an independent, but when push comes to shove, the party tells him to line up," Zachary Rubin of Lower Makefield said.

"Overall, I think it was good meeting, and I think he did what he can do. His heart is in the right place," Paletina said.

Fitzpatrick told residents there will be more in-person town hall meetings in the future.

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