Congressman Tom Rooney: Obama Should be More Forthcoming on McChrystal and Afghanistan

Florida Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL)Neal Asbury opened the show by quoting Oscar Wilde, who once said that “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”   If that is the case, according to Asbury, “then President Obama is the most experienced man alive.”  Asbury suggested that the President’s problems stem from the fact that he has surrounded himself with a staff that has no experience in business management, military leadership, or the fundamentals of running a company, let alone the greatest nation on Earth.   He pointed to the firing of General McChrystal and the response to the BP oil spill as signs that this lack of experience carries dire consequences.

“My goodness, if your toilet isn’t working and you can’t fix it yourself, you call in a plumber. So with that same rational, if you have a body of water choking on oil, you call upon experts to advise you.  In my experience, the smartest people are those that ask for help when they don’t know the answer to a problem,” advised Asbury.  He traced this decision making failure to “a certain sense of elitism.   They seek to convey the sense that they know all the answers even when they don’t.  They always think they are smartest people in the room.  I think we’re finding out that they aren’t.   Let’s show them that we’re the smartest people in the voting booth and find leaders in November that have the good sense to tap into America’s ingenuity and skills,” concluded Asbury.

Neal’s first guest was Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL), who represents Florida’s 16th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.  He currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Agriculture Committee.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Rooney is naturally deeply involved in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The recent firing of General McChrystal concerned Congressman Rooney, who believes that the President must be more forthcoming on discussing his plans for Afghanistan with the American people, and especially the men and women of the armed forces who are putting their lives on the line.

“If I’m a soldier or officer, I have no idea where we’re going.   What is the President’s vision for ending the war?  How do we explain to the troops what’s going to happen if we withdraw by next July?  The Taliban are just sitting on the sidelines and waiting for America to withdraw.  Then they will come in and punish any Afghans that have sided with America.  That’s one big reason that we aren’t getting more support from the Afghan people,” conjectured Congressman Rooney.

He added that the American people are waiting to hear from the Commander in Chief that “America is going to win the war.  We won’t accept a half-hearted effort or accept mailing-it-in.   I will be the President’s biggest cheerleader if he will reassure the troops and the American people that we will do everything we can to end the war and bring the troops home”

The Congressman gives high marks to General Petraeus as the general to take over McChrystal’s command and describes him as the “best man around. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather see lead the troops.”

In speaking of General  McChrystal’s dismissal, Congressman Rooney was extremely troubled by General McChrystal’s willingness to allow a Rolling Stone reporter to cover his activities over the course of a week.  “It almost looked like he wanted to get caught saying something damaging.  I think he was getting extremely frustrated and saw a train wreck coming.  A big part of his frustration was a real lack of communication between him and the President,” proposed Congressman Rooney

As for the BP oil spill disaster, the Congressman characterized BP as “inept” and wondered why they remain in charge of the cleanup.  “It sounds like a contradiction –especially when we’ve turned down help from experts from around the world.  I think the President would do well to involve the American people.  I bet that if he asked Americans to come down to the Gulf and assist in the cleanup, they’d come.  It’s part of our heritage that when we’re in trouble we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps,” said Congressman Rooney.  “Don’t worry about America.  We will be strong again.”

Also joining “Neal Asbury’s Truth for America” was return-guest John Manzella, a world-recognized speaker on global business and policy, China, and today’s new economic and political realities. He provides expert analysis and strategic direction to help organizations prepare for the challenges ahead.

Manzella is deeply concerned that the uncertainty that pervades America is discouraging companies from making investments and hiring.  Worse, America’s tax structure is making US companies less competitive abroad and in world trade.

As an example, he noted that German companies doing business in the US pay no US taxes. But American companies doing business in Germany pay German taxes AND American taxes.

America is the most over-taxed country in the world.  Other nations have caught on to the advantages they receive when they reduce corporate taxes.  But In America, it’s one tax after another.  This slows growth and slows job creation,” said Manzella.

Manzella is skeptical that the US can keep pace with President Obama’s promise to double exports in five years and create two million jobs.

“It’s a nice goal but we have a long way to go to succeed.  A good first step is to pass the three pending free trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama.  We have to stop sitting on the sidelines and push for a more aggressive US export agenda,” said Manzella.

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One Response to “Congressman Tom Rooney: Obama Should be More Forthcoming on McChrystal and Afghanistan”
  1. Jane Tucker says:

    Thank you for publishing these updates. Even though you and I are at opposite ends of the US political spectrum, I am happy to be updated and participate in your discussions.

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