ASHWAUBENON, Wis. – Representative Mike Gallagher (R) of Green Bay joined NBC26 Today on Monday to discuss issues of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as national security and jobs.
Gallagher rejected any calls to normalize hate-groups like those seen in Charlottesville when white nationalists and neo-Nazi’s held a rally that turned deadly.
President Trump’s response to the protests drew widespread criticism across the political spectrum. Gallagher called on elected officials to step up in response.
“I think everyone in public office has a responsibility to unequivocally denounce this kind of violence and also the ideology that gives life to it,” Gallagher said.
“This type of white nationalism, this type of neo-Nazism has absolutely no place in our society,” he added. “In fact, it’s antithetical to our founding values.”
Gallagher said it was the President’s responsibility to lead, saying President Trump should work to unite the country after the violence in Charlottesville.
Gallagher, a member of both the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees, responded to President Trump’s upcoming speech on the war in Afghanistan.
The Congressman warned against taking the path the U.S. took in the withdrawal from Iraq.
“We pulled out, almost precipitously, almost for entirely political reasons, and what we saw was dangerous actors- ISIS, other bad groups fill the vacuum,” he said.
“So for us to completely pull out [of Afghanistan]… just for political reasons would be a nightmare for our national security interests,” he explained.
Gallagher called on the President to be honest on the challenges still faced by U.S. military personnel in achieving the objectives in Afghanistan, the nation’s longest running war.
“This is a huge opportunity to unite the country, and I hope he takes advantage of it,” Gallagher added.
Congressman Gallagher also addressed the tax incentive plan designed to lure Taiwanese chip manufacturer Foxconn to the state.
“I think it has the potential to be transformative and a long-term economic win for the state,” he said.
But Gallagher stressed a broader approach, saying leaders need to address the skills and labor participation gaps in order to truly build stronger economies.