Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Friday that Republicans should pay attention to the hostile town hall meetings across the country as many voters express anxiety and concern about the plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“To my conservative friends and my Republican friends: Pay attention to this,” Hutchinson said during POLITICO’s annual State Solutions Conference. “Because that portends what could happen down the road with increased intensity if we don’t handle health care right, if we don’t handle all of the promises that we’ve indicated we want to work on right.”
Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton faced a contentious crowd in his conservative home state last week that widely bemoaned his support for the Trump administration and for repealing the Affordable Care Act.
“I think it’s great for democracy any time you have 2,000 people come out to a town hall meeting,” Hutchinson said. “I think they are by and large Arkansans who are expressing themselves.”
He added that it’s important to note that President Donald Trump is widely popular in the state and most support his policies. Trump won Arkansas with 60.4 percent of the vote, with Hillary Clinton, the state’s former first lady, finishing with 33.8 percent.
“Those who are opposed and concerned are very expressive, they’re very intense,” Hutchinson said. “And as we know in politics, intensity makes a difference.”