GOP Candidates Hold Own Town Halls
Republicans jump on Democrats' reluctance to host ugly meetings
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2009 3:47 PM CDT
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., conducts a town hall event on health care reform at the Greenspring retirement community in Springfield, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – Republican candidates across the country are staging their own health care town halls in a bid to upstage Democratic incumbents, Politico reports. With many Democrats declining to host the rowdy events, GOP challengers have seized on town halls as easy tickets to voter connection and press coverage. “By the time this is said and done, my campaign will have provided close to 1,500 people the opportunity to speak out on health care,” one Illinois candidate says.

The National Republican Congressional Committee won’t say whether it’s encouraging the tactic, and Democrats downplay its effectiveness. “Misleading constituents about the facts on health care reform isn’t something to be proud of, and local press is calling Republicans out on it,” a Democratic spokeswoman says. But success of the GOP town halls has prompted some reluctant Democrats to host their own after all.