Since taking office in 2004, Congressman Connie Mack of Florida has been considered by many to be a rising star in Republican politics. We asked Mack about WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, the 2012 presidential race, and his own future political ambitions.
1. You’ve been one of the few members of Congress to stand up for WikiLeaks. What do you think of Julian Assange’s arrest? Is the government overstepping its bounds in going after Assange and his website?
Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange are no heroes, but neither is the government. Many of the things released simply show the American people how ill run our government is. There seems to be an attempt to suppress information from the general public. This incident points out the need for more government transparency. It also points out the need for better security protections within our government — that a Private in the Army can push a button and release hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents without the approval of the American government is outrageous.
2. On the WikiLeaks issue, is it odd to find yourself on the same side as Michael Moore?
Michael Moore is opposed to more freedom and just wants to see America hurt. He and I couldn’t be more different; although I will always defend his right to be wrong!
3. What do you think should happen to Bradley Manning, the Army private believed responsible for the leaks?
He should be charged with treason and then put through the proper military judicial process to prove either his guilt or innocence. There is no doubt he is a key figure in the leaks.
4. You’ve supported Mitt Romney in the past. Should he run, would you support a Romney presidential bid in 2012?
He would make a great President and his knowledge of how to run a business and free enterprise is clearly lacking in the present Administration. Mitt and I are good friends and I was a steadfast supporter of his run in 2008.
5. What do you think of Sarah Palin? Is she a serious presidential contender?
Sarah Palin has done a tremendous job raising awareness on the misdeeds of this Administration and plays a vital role in our party’s future.
6. Do you support the tax deal?
I support making the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 permanent and I think the American public has had enough of political deals. We should cut as many taxes in reasonable; including the income tax and the estate tax.
7. Do you have any interest in running for the Senate in 2012?
I have been honored and humbled by the outpouring of supporters in Florida encouraging me to run. At this time I am focused on my duties in the House and working hard to make this the “Repeal Congress,” curbing the size of government and stopping the runaway spending habits of the Pelosi Congress.
8. What should be the top priority for the incoming Republican majority in the House?
Cutting more taxes and the 112th Congress should be the “Repeal Congress.” Congressional leaders and the continually growing number of unelected bureaucrats no longer trust us to make personal decisions about our health care or how we feed our children. For example, in an effort to combat childhood obesity, the federal government has assumed the role of super-parent and will dictate what our children eat at school.
In “The Conscience of a Conservative,” former Arizona GOP Senator and presidential candidate Barry Goldwater wrote, “My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden.”
9. You sit on the Committee on Foreign Affairs. What’s your reaction to Ambassador Holbrooke passing away?
Ambassador Holbrooke was an integral part in Afghanistan and Pakistan. His passing leaves a vacuum that must be filled quickly.
10. Ambassador Holbrooke’s last words were reportedly “You have to stop this war in Afghanistan.” Do you think it’s time to leave?
In order to achieve a workable “peace in Afghanistan we must finish the mission. Leaving now would not only undermine the sacrifices of our soldiers, but would undermine our foreign policy and suggest that after a certain period of time America will leave its allies twisting in the wind.