McCain responds to 'jerk' comment at town hall meeting

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- One day after a confrontation at a town hall meeting in Sun Lakes, Senator John McCain held another town hall in Phoenix.

On Tuesday, an audience member of the town hall meeting fired off a string of heated questions about border security.  
After attempting to answer some of the questions, Sen. McCain eventually quipped, “Occasionally I get a jerk like that guy.”
3TV asked McCain whether he regretted calling the man a jerk.
“Of course not. I call people jerks all the time, and they call me jerks. It’s supposed to be fun, loosen up,” Sen. McCain responded. “I’ve done town halls for years. They are vigorous and a little combative. That’s what it is supposed to be about. Loosen up.”
Before the floor was opened up to audience members for questions Wednesday, McCain outlined his plan for immigration reform, including a border fence and drones.
Border security was not the focus of the majority of questions asked by audience members at the standing-room-only event Wednesday. Instead, gun control became the primary issue.
At one point, the mother of Aurora movie shooting victim Alex Teves took the microphone.
“My 24-year-old son Alex was murdered in a movie theater in Colorado,” Caren Teves said. “These assault rifles allow the shooter to fire many rounds without having to re-load. These weapons do not belong on our streets.”
McCain responded by sympathizing with Teves, then addressing her call for a ban on assault rifles.
“I can tell you right now you need some straight talk. That assault weapons ban will not pass the Congress of the United States,” said Sen. McCain.
McCain said his plan to deal with mass shootings would protect Second Amendment rights.
“We are working together to try to come up with a package that would prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals while at the same time preserving our Second Amendment rights,” he said.
Audience members also asked questions about impeaching President Obama, Benghazi, and immigration reform.