NEWARK – The first part of our interview with U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10) appeared here.
Below, please find the second part:
The Congressman’s reaction to Bombings in Syria and Afghanistan; does he feel they show strength or contribute to greater tensions worldwide:
“I think it’s a combination of both. This is a show of strength but it is going to heighten tensions as well. I hope that the generals who it appears they have been given free rein, and don’t have to check with the administration with every move they make like it’s been for decades, now the president just says now ‘do what you do,’ and that mother of all bombs they’ve been in the arsenal for decades and never used them. I don’t know that now the generals aren’t saying, ‘let’s see what this can do. We never used one of these things, let’s just throw it out there.’ I hope that’s not the case, but they’ve been given free rein.
“On Syria, something had to be done, and I think out of the two instances, I tend to feel a bit more comfortable with [US actions in ] Syria. The sight of those children. Assad had to know what the potential could be. Naturally notifying Russia that it was happening was the right thing to do. But it was a show of force. It showed what we could do from a thousand miles away. It was a shot across the bow to let you really understand what you would be up against.
On Opportunities for Democrats in 2018
“They’re working on it they’re looking at several districts now, from what I understand, from the top to the bottom of the state. We’ll see what happens and where they decide to go but I’m just working on securing Josh Gottheimer’s [CD5] seat. I told the DCCC, ‘let’s hold onto what we have to make sure that’s secure, and then move forward.’ We’ll see what 2018 has in store. There could be great opportunities in the mid-term.”