Shortly after taking questions from an aggressive crowd at a town hall meeting on Thursday in Fargo, North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer went on the radio to lie.
Speaking on WDAY Radio, Cramer made up a story about the crowd “shouting down” a woman who asked a question about her children’s healthcare. In fact, the crowd loudly applauded her question and shouted at Cramer because he wasn’t giving a direct answer. (We’ve included two videos of the question, from different angles.)
“During the town hall some hecklers were shouting down a young woman telling a very touching story about her child with pre-existing conditions, so much so that you couldn’t hear her,” Cramer said in the radio interview on Friday. “And I found that, of course, very rude and I said, ‘Please, people, be quiet, this woman deserves to be heard.’ ”
This is not what happened, as video from the town hall clearly shows. A woman who described having two sons who “are severely disabled and they utilize Medicaid” asked Cramer: “Are you in favor of Medicaid block grants that would force people like me out of the workforce to stay home and care for my son?”
The idea of “block grants” is being pushed by conservatives as a way to cut Medicaid costs and replace the Affordable Care Act. According to NPR, “many health policy analysts say that block grants could lead to reductions in care.”
When the woman asked her question, the crowd didn’t shout her down. They actually applauded her. Like a typical politician, Cramer didn’t answer right away, preferring to say “thank you” to the woman for showing up to the town hall early. That caused people in the crowd to yell “Yes or no?” in an attempt to get him to answer the question already.
In response, Cramer accused the crowd of being rude to the woman. “Listen people, we’re going to show respect for these people,” he said. Later, when he got more heckles because of his handling of the question, he lashed out again: “Listen people, you owe this woman more respect than this!”
“You owe her an answer,” someone in the crowd yelled back.
Cramer then had the audacity to tell the woman, “They don’t mean harm,” as if he was her knight defending her from a crowd… that was on her side.
Later on, the woman followed up on her initial question. Again, the crowd did not shout her down; it applauded her.
In response to her concerns, Cramer said in part, “I don’t personally believe that’s the case.”
Cramer, skilled politician that he is, decided to distract from the question itself by accusing the crowd of shouting down the woman who asked it. He should have been called out on the lie during the radio interview, but the host, Rob Port, is a known bootlicker.