Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., on Friday explained why he broke from most of his party to vote for the war powers resolution, which he called "a win" for President Donald Trump.
"I believe it was a reflection of the true Trump doctrine. I think the Trump doctrine works at its best when we kill the terrorists and come home, and we do not engage in endless forever wars in the Middle East," Gaetz told "War Room: Impeachment," which airs live on Newsmax TV, on Friday morning.
He added, "when you look at some of the folks, particularly in the Senate, who are critical of the resolution, and some of the same folks who are the biggest champions of a lot of these interventionist regime change wars, I am not one who believes that we need another generation of these quagmires, and I also think that we politically cannot allow [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi to cast Donald Trump as the pro-war candidate."
Gaetz later said, "The biggest animating factor drawing our country into a war we didn't want was [Iranian Gen. Qassem] Soleimani. He was doing everything he could to draw our nation into war, and killing him was the right thing to do for that reason."
He added that he approached Democrats after they included a reference to Soleimani in the initial resolution to tell them: "'I'm not in for just a vehicle to go and smash the president, but if the resolution instead articulates our robust rationale for self-defense, and if it lays out that on a going forward basis, no president can drag our country into a Middle East war in the absence of approval of Congress, then I'll vote for it.'"
The congressman later described the resolution as "a win for the president because I do believe, from a messaging standpoint, it is important for the president to see the people who care about him and love him and fight for his agenda every day continue to animate the populist anti-war sentiment that undergirds our movement. I think there's never a bad time to do that."
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