Politics & Government

Baird reverses course on town hall meetings

Washington state Congressman Brian Baird is apologizing for his criticism of raucous town-hall meetings on health care, and is now scheduling some in-person meetings of his own.

The Vancouver Democrat recently said people disrupting other town halls were exhibiting a “lynch mob mentality” and “close to Brownshirt tactics,” a reference to Nazi stormtroopers.

But in a statement Wednesday, Baird says he was wrong to use those words. He also called for a more civil debate on health care, and said he’s going to hold five town-hall meetings.

In his statement, he calls himself a “huge advocate” of town halls and said that he has hosted more than 300.

The first will be Tuesday at Skyview High School in Vancouver.

The News Tribune and The Associated Press