“This is I think probably the worst piece of legislation that I am familiar with almost in the history of this country,” Gingrey said. “Now more than ever with this Supreme Court decision if we do not repeal Obama then Obamacare continues, and as its roots sink in it will almost be impossible to get rid of it, and all of a sudden we’ll be just like the U.K. and these other countries who have national health insurance that pay the bills by rationing care.”
First elected to Congress in 2002, Gingrey faces two Republicans in the July 31 election. The winner will face Democrat Patrick Thompson of Roswell in the general election.
One Republican challenger, Michael Opitz, criticizes Gingrey for supporting the National Defense Authorization Act.
“There are folks like my opponent, Mr. Opitz, who want to try to suggest that there is language in this latest bill, NDAA, that allows our government to indefinitely detain a citizen or a permanent legal resident who is suspected of terroristic activity, to indefinitely detain them, take away their rights, the writ of habeas corpus, without ever bringing any charges,” Gingrey said. “In other words, lock them up, throw away the key and forget about them. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
While there was concern about language in the bill last year, that language was carefully reworked in the new act, Gingrey said.
“It seems like maybe my opponent doesn’t understand that he’s almost advocating for terrorists who are wanting to destroy this country would be safer to come to the United States than they are in their current havens of Afghanistan, Yemen or wherever they work their nefarious magic, so here again I’m standing up for the defense of this country and the men and women who are on the front line in supporting NDAA, and I’m very proud of that while at the same time protecting our personal liberties.”
The congressman wouldn’t say whether he intends to vote for or against the July 31 transportation referendum.
“I need to continue to hear from both sides and to keep an open mind and make sure that I listen to people and be respectful of their opinions and not go into this with a predetermined decision,” he said.
On the matter of what to do about illegal immigrants, Gingrey applauded Sheriff Neil Warren’s use of the 287(g) program as well as the General Assembly’s adoption of the immigration reform bill last year.
Gingrey said he also favored granting public dollars to private businesses to spur economic development, although it had to be done carefully. He cited the financial help the Obama administration gave to now-bankrupt Solyndra, a California manufacturer of solar panels, as a cautionary tale.
“We need to be extremely careful, but on the other hand to say that we’ll use a program not of a grant but loan guarantee to help the Southern Company move forward with the two additional reactors at Plant Vogtle and ultimately looking long term of course the rate payers are paying for that, and this will be a very successful project, so to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a question like that I think the reason I am the congressman from the 11th congressional district is that I have the judgment, the wisdom to look at things and understand and very carefully with a very measured decision and not a knee-jerk reaction of a ‘hell no’ or a ‘hell yes’ on every issue,” he said.
Gingrey also said he would support whatever action is necessary to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
The congressman could not say how much his campaign has currently raised.
“I don’t know the exact amount, quite honestly,” he said.