At Town Hall, Perry Jousts Over Trump, Immigration and Guns

HUMMELSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania cast himself as a policy-first worker in Congress in his first town hall meeting this session as he downplayed concerns about Russian meddling in elections and turned away suggestions about gun control after another mass shooting.

Speaking Tuesday evening to more than 60 people in a suburban Harrisburg fire hall, Perry also insisted that children are being cared for at the U.S.-Mexico border as best as possible under the circumstances.

In the course of answering roughly two dozen questions, Perry typically defended President Donald Trump when Trump’s name came up in the question-and-answer session with the politically divided crowd that occasionally grumbled at his answers or challenged him. Perry also passed on opportunities to criticize Trump.

At one point, Perry was asked what line Trump must cross in his public statements before Perry will condemn it.

“I’m not condemning anyone,” Perry said. “I’ve got my vote and you’ve got your vote. … You don’t need me what to tell you to think about all this stuff.”

An audience member shot back, “silence is complicity.”

Perry, a member of the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus in the House who has occasionally jousted with cable TV news hosts, stressed that he tries to stay out of the drama of Washington and focus on policymaking.

Perry could face a challenge next year from Democratic state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. Perry narrowly won a fourth term in November’s election in the southcentral Pennsylvania district.

Asked specifically about Trump’s two-week-old tweet calling on four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to their home countries, Perry did not single out the president. He has heard “appalling” things said on both sides of the aisle, he said.

Perry made clear that he does not support some of the policies that are popular among progressives — such as “Medicare for All” or a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage — and he suggested that concerns about Russia meddling in elections are overblown.

By Associated Press for US NEWS
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