Congressman Tim Griffin spoke to Ashley Blackstone on Today's THV This Morning about his recent trip to Afghanistan, the scandalous announcement from Rep. Anthony Weiner and the debt ceiling.
Click on the video above to see his full interview or read the transcript below.
THV: You just got back from Afghanistan, you were there over the Memorial Day weekend to spend some time with some of our troops. Talk about your time there and why you wanted to head over there?
Griffin: Well, I'm on the Armed Services Committee and we deal with issues relating to Afghanistan and Iraq a lot and so they encourage us to get over there if we haven't been. I served in Iraq, but I've never been to Afghanistan so this was a priority for me and a number of members of Congress went over during Memorial Day weekend and we got to travel around the country, see different parts and meet with folks from all different services. General Petraues gave us a briefing, we meet with a lot of the division commanders who gave us briefings on how things are going in the regions and got to share some meals with Arkansans. As I was telling you earlier, I was flown around in a C-130 from Little Rock Airforce Base and had two pilots from Little Rock, so it was good to touch base with them and visit with the troops. I came away concluding, basically, that certainly we can't stay there indefintely, we can't afford to for a whole host of reasons, but I also understand that we can't leave today.
THV: You had the opportunity to speak with many troops that are on the ground from Arkansas. How are they doing, how are their spirits?
Griffin: Incredible. I've seen this through out my career, I'm still serving as a reservist, and I can tell you that it never ceases to amaze me. Great attitudes, they were excited to get to visit and we shared dinner on two occasions, some of them from the Army, some of them from the Airforce and you know, I never hear any complaining, it's always a positive attitude and the bottom line is they're professionals. Whether they like being there or not, that's not the issue, they're giving a mission and they do it and they do it with a smile and they do a great job. So they really appreciated to see somebody from back home. It was really neat.
THV: We want to ask you about Anthony Weiner, who has confessed to sending lude photos of himself to women on the Internet. What are your thoughts on that?
Griffin: It would have been better if he would've just told the truth from the start. That's what we teach our kids and that's a good rule to try and adhere to. I think ultimately whether he resigns is between him and his constituents; last time I heard he's not going to resign, but he's recently married, it's a tough situation. But I tell you who it's toughest on is not the political side of it but his family.
THV: We're almost out of time, but I want to talk to you about the debt ceiling. [A viewer] wants to know what cuts do you believe need to be taken so our debt doesn't continue to go down?
Griffin: We're going to have to deal with both sides of the federal budget. We have what's called discretionary spending, which is the spending that's renewed every year. Then we have the long term mandatory spending, like Medicare, Medicaid, social security. We need to protect those programs, but we've got to reform them because they're on the way to bankruptcy. I think we're going to have to have some serious cuts in the budget so that we can sustain our quality of life. I don't know exactly where that number is going to be but I can tell you I haven't seen a serious enough proposal from anyone yet that I could vote for.