Two anti-war activists packing a videocamera followed U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley to six of his town hall meetings in Iowa on Monday. At each stop, they questioned Grassley on his votes supporting an escalation of forces in Iraq and to block a troop pullout.
Grassley says he was wary of the two, members of the group "Americans Against Escalation in Iraq," but says he was courteous with them — and even invited them to share a meal, an invitation they accepted. Grassley says: "This is a group that wants to set a timetable to withdraw troops and get out of Iraq without considering the consequences, a little bit like Michael Moore might be on television saying. They follow you around with a camera, hopefully that you say some stupid thing that they ‘gotcha’ and they put all this stuff on You Tube," the popular website that’s a clearinghouse for a wealth of amateur videos.
After the two activists questioned Grassley at his sixth town hall meeting of the day, it was dinner time, and the Republican says he would engage them in a conversation, not a confrontation. Grassley says, "So I decided after all my town meetings, ‘Why don’t you come and have a hamburger with me?’ So they came and had a hamburger with me. They turned their television camera off and we had a nice discussion about Iraq. It seemed that that sort of environment was a little better than what they were trying to create at the town meeting."
The unlikely trio shared a table at a cafe in Mount Ayr, where Grassley says they each stated their opinions and paid for their own meals and left still disagreeing over Iraq, but on friendly terms.