Saturday night, Congressman Chris Collins again attacked the student-led forum held in Buffalo, which was organized by students across his district. And once again, he did it behind closed doors in an environment that he could control.
In an interview posted in its entirety on wgrz.com, Collins swings wildly with his attacks and unfounded allegations. Previously he said the event would be a “circus.” But when confronted about it being respectfully held in a church, he scoffed, literally laughing and going back to labeling all those involved, calling it a “partisan, liberal event.”
When told by the reporter from the news station that she witnessed and collected unsolicited questions from all those in attendance, Collins refused to acknowledge it and insisted that the event was an “a joke.”
In the interview, Collins also claims that panel participant and his Congressional race opponent Nate McMurray was “handpicked” by Brian Higgins to participate.
McMurray responds, "Higgins had nothing to do with me being there, and in fact was probably not happy the students invited me. Collins is clinging to that empty take like a man clinging to (a) life preserver. As you can see in his interview, he’s worried. He wants to create as much confusion, so he never has to face me directly."
Collins also claims that McMurray had as much a right to be there as an Uber driver.
McMurray responded, “Honestly, I should just laugh it off, but it’s such an elitist thing to say. I hope there were some Uber drivers there. I met some teachers, law enforcement folks, and others. I’m guessing we had a few Uber drivers, too. It was packed!”
As to Collins claims that it was partisan, McMurray replies, “I volunteered not to go, if he decided to go. I would have been much happier if he, as our elected official had taken the stage. I could have done what he did and sit home and watch the tape, because he obviously studied every second of it.
"But he, like every other member of his party who refused to attend, and there were multiple invitations sent out to multiple elected officials, decided to make it a partisan event.”
McMurray says he will now do what Collins would not.
“I am going to reach out to pro-Second Amendment groups. And I will reach out to the student groups once again to see if they also want to participate. But I want to speak before groups that may not agree with me, that may even boo me. There will be another forum.
"That’s how we solve things in America. We don’t retreat to our partisan camps. We don’t attack behind the closed doors of television studios. We meet in the public square, the town hall.”