Watch CBS News

Congressman Roskam On Town Halls: 'People Come Angry, Leave Angrier'

CHICAGO (CBS) – Is he engaging with voters or avoiding them?

GOP Congressman Peter Roskam has been under attack from unhappy constituents for avoiding questions, but he did not avoid CBS 2's political reporter Derrick Blakley who sat down with Roskam in this CBS 2 Original Report.

Congressman Peter Roskam was found dodging reporters last week after a downtown speech. Some constituents said he is dodging them by not holding a town hall meeting. Roskam insists town halls just are not productive.

"People come angry, leave angrier and end up shouting at each other," Roskam said.

Roskam is modifying his tactics.

Confronted at a Glen Ellyn speech on Monday by protesters calling for a town hall meeting, Roskam met with three of the protesters in private. He has held similar small meetings with demonstrators in the past week.

"On balance, I felt it was a highly productive, good discussion," Roskam said.

The protests are coming from people who are concerned about their future, he said. "I think there is some level of organization on nationwide basis, and that is self-evident, obviously."

And regarding President Trump, Roskam clearly is not comfortable with his governing by tweeting, like the allegation that former president Obama wiretapped trump's campaign.

"I've just seen no evident to support that," Roskam said. "And my view is, if there were to be evidence to support that, you do not tweet about it, you refer it to law enforcement."

On other topics, Roskam said he supports the basic outline of the GOP's Obamacare replacement, saying fewer people may choose to buy coverage, but great competition and choice are worth it.

He also supports President Trump's revised travel ban while saying the President blew it with the rollout of the original plan.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.