Government
6:27 am
Wed May 9, 2012

GOP freshman gives qualified thumbs-up to President Obama

Northern Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger says President Obama has "been aggressive" when protecting Americans from terrorism.  The freshman Republican cites the Obama administration's increase in the use of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. 

Kinzinger spoke a day after U.S. intelligence officials announced they foiled an alleged attempt to bomb a U.S.-bound airliner.  But in an interview with WNIJ, Kinzinger stressed he has "fundamental disagreements" with the administration's handling of Afghanistan. 

1st Listen link: Kinzinger on President Obama's handling of terrorism

2nd Listen link: Full interview with Kinzinger on F-22 pilots

He cited the President's timetable for withdrawal from the country. "I worry about the grander scope of withdrawal from Afghanistan," he said, "what that would do for our overall strategy against terror." 

Kinzinger also objected to the administration's policies toward Israel and Iran.  "That said, I believe they've been aggressive and I will commend the administration when they deserve it," he continued, " and I think it's an area where they deserve it." 

You can hear that interview by clicking the first Listen link above.  The discussion begins with Kinzinger's take on the Legislative Branch's role in counter-terrorism.

In the same session, Kinzinger discussed his efforts to protect two U.S. Air Force pilots who refused to fly the F-22 Raptor because of potential in-flight dangers.  The pilots, Maj. Jeremy Gordon and Capt. Josh Wilson, sought whistleblower protection from Kinzinger.  You can hear that full discussion by clicking the second Listen link.

Update 8:00am:  U.S. Rep. Kinzinger's office released a statement saying he's "extremely pleased" to hear that the USAF will not retaliate against Maj. Jeremy Gordon and Capt. Josh Wilson for their refusal to fly the F-22 Raptor, a plane they believe is unsafe.  That promise comes from Lt. Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger who met with members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.