Rod Blum’s Walkout Goes Viral

In one of the bigger unforced political errors of the year, Iowa’s 1st District Congressman Rod Blum walked out in the middle of an interview with reporter Josh Scheinblum of KCRG yesterday. It only took a few hours for the story to work it’s way on up to the national level. Now the video is up on CNN, on the front page of the Huffington Post and is making its way through most national news outlets.

The timing for Blum was particularly bad. Very few Republicans are holding public forums this week, so multiple national reporters – including from the Washington Post and the Huffington Post – are already in Iowa to cover Blum’s events. National attention was certain to be aimed at the 1st District Republican.

And this was Blum’s first town hall since his reelection, coming right after the GOP-run House passed the incredibly unpopular AHCA bill. Iowa voters and media were primed for a spectacle. The raucous receptions he was certain to face would already have ensured heavy coverage, but his interview debacle amplified it to a massive degree.

And actually, the setting for this entire mess came from Blum’s foolish decision to require IDs at his events in order to ban supposed rabble-rousers from outside the district. This mindset has come about because some Republican members of Congress have apparently convinced themselves that the angry people showing up to their town halls aren’t actually constituents that are frightened they’ll lose their healthcare, but all a bunch of paid, outside influencers that are part of some massive liberal conspiracy. It backfired terribly on Blum.

The ID requirement and out-of-district ban set Blum’s entire tour off on the wrong foot, casting it in a negative light before it got started.

And his answer to why he’d take out-of-district contributions while banning out-of-district attendees didn’t help much.

“This is an official event as a congressman, this isn’t a political event. So when we’re talking about contributions coming from outside the district, that’s a political thing,” Blum tried to tell the crowd, after blaming KCRG for the interview walkout.

Abby Finkenauer, a Democrat who recently announced a congressional run for the 1st District, was quick to respond to Blum’s actions, and started directing people to her fundraising site.

Progress Iowa got in on the fun with a new website,, and the hashtag #RunAwayRod is quickly gaining steam on Iowa twitter.

If all of this wasn’t bad enough for Blum, consider: he’s still got three more of these forums to get through this week.

Here’s those event details:

May 9th – 7PM
Kirkwood Community College Johnson Hall Gym
6301 Kirkwood Boulevard SW, Cedar Rapids
RSVP for this Town Hall

May 10th – 7PM
Cedar Falls High School Gym
1015 Division Street, Cedar Falls
RSVP for this Town Hall

May 11th – 12PM
Marshalltown Community College Babe Harder Gym
3700 South Center Street, Marshalltown
RSVP for this Town Hall


by Pat Rynard
Posted 5/9/17

1 Comment on "Rod Blum’s Walkout Goes Viral"

  • What.a.(your choice).
    I’m not in dist.01 but I’m going to go offer some help after this.
    1. using black kids as props (cynical = 5 pts)
    2. ID stunt at town hall (stupid = 5 pts)
    3. interview walkout (snowflake factor = 5 pts)
    4. Oh yeah, lying about health care, flip flopping and generally selling out his constituents ( venality = 100 pts)
    the higher the score, the bigger the (supply your own noun)

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