Tue, Feb 13, 2007, 1:11am Eric Cantor: Huge, Dangerous Idiot
Politics » USA
et me present a transcript from Hardball between Chris Matthews, Eric Cantor (Republican Congressman of Virginia) and Steve Israel (Democratic Congressman of New York). It almost drove me berserk when I heard it on air. I almost can't believe that people can be elected to office without knowing the basics about the different branches of government and why they were set up that way. What on earth is wrong with people?

If you just want to watch it on YouTube, click here.

MATTHEWS: This isn‘t an option question. This isn‘t multiple choice.

Right now, February 8, 2007, do you believe we should go to war with Iran?

CANTOR: I‘ll leave that decision up to the commanders on the ground and those in our military …

MATTHEWS: Commanders on the ground whether we go to war with another country?

CANTOR: I will leave the decisions in the military arena to—this is exactly the point.

MATTHEWS: This is Barry Goldwater taking. He used to say that.

Regional commanders can decide whether we want it use nuclear weapons. You‘re obviously saying soldiers should decide which country to go to war with.

CANTOR: I‘m here to say the military experts are those which might come up with the recommendation to the commander in chief that makes the decision. It is silly for us to expect .

MATTHEWS: I‘m not talking — I just asked you a very simple question .

CANTOR: We‘re going 535 commanders in chief .

MATTHEWS: I‘ve never heard of anything like this in my life. Never in my life.

ISRAEL: Congress has a constitutional responsibility to decide whether we‘re going to war or not. That‘s what we‘re elected to do. Those are the debates we should have.

CANTOR: Every president since…

MATTHEWS: The idea of declaring war as a soldier is unimaginable. …

Let me ask you Congressman Cantor, very clearly, to clear up our discussion, if the U.S. Congress were to discuss tomorrow morning whether to declare war on Iran, would you vote yay?

CANTOR: This congress is not going to do that because it‘s the commander in chief‘s role, Chris, and Steve knows that as well. It‘s not Congress that will ask for that. It is the commander in chief that will make that decision. Every president whether republican or Republican or Democrat since the War Powers Act was in place has interpreted it as being the commander in chief‘s role to do that.

MATTHEWS: Would you support the president if he declared war in Iran tomorrow morning? As things are right now.

CANTOR: I will support what is in the best interest of securing this homeland and providing our troops with what they need and if there is a threat on the ground in Iraq and in the region that our troops need us, I will support them and that‘s exactly the point on this Iraqi resolution because the Democrats want to have their cake and eat it, too. This is a nonbinding resolution. It‘s a sense of Congress. It doesn‘t mean anything. In fact it pollutes the message and sends the wrong message to our troops.

MATTHEWS: Congressman Israel, what‘s the role of Congress in war and peace?

ISRAEL: Congress under the Constitution of the United States authorizes war. The War Powers Act requires Congress to vote on whether we should insert troops into hostile situations. The law is clear.

CANTOR: Absolutely not.

ISRAEL: Come on, Eric.

CANTOR: As a commander in chief the constitution gives .

MATTHEWS: Congressman Cantor, why did the president ask for approval of Congress before he went to Iraq?

CANTOR: I certainly think his counsel gave him guidance why he need to do that but the Constitution gives the commander in chief the right to send our troops into battle.

MATTHEWS: Maybe when it comes to war we don‘t need a Congress according to that.

  • john (Tue, February 13th, 2007, 7:26pm UTC)

  • PeteB (Sun, March 18th, 2007, 9:48pm UTC)
    Wow! No wonder we are in this mess with people like that in power! Thanks for the link.

  • Brad (Tue, July 3rd, 2007, 10:39am UTC)
    I live in this crazy bastard's district and I'm going to dedicate a substantial portion of my life to making sure this guy is removed from Congress.

  • agitatedString/Number (Wed, June 25th, 2008, 2:20am UTC)
    work with people like that? fuck it, at 4$+ a gallon (6/08) we have no time to waste on corrupted republicans (and god-help the democrats if they think it is business as usual post 11/08 !!!) regardless of what happens to ga$ at the pump. If the USA does not move to diversify the 'energy feedstock' to the USA transportation sector (think plug-in cars which can use any fuel source the local powerplant can utilize) then I will start to have my doubts about what passes for democracy in the USA. Learn more about Brazil and alcohol as an alternative for 'liquid engery' needs before listening to the propaganda from the oil companies.

  • Dan (Tue, September 30th, 2008, 7:35pm UTC)
    Please make that possible Brad

  • Penny (Thu, February 25th, 2010, 8:58pm UTC)
    This is so frightening. Makes me want to move to Canada.

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