AL.com: Rep. Martha Roby praises Trump's plans for Afghanistan
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby said today she does not always agree with President Trump but praised the president's new plans for the war in Afghanistan, which Trump outlined in a televised address Monday night.
"One of the fundamental responsibilities of our commander-in-chief is to explain his military decisions to the American people and I thought he did that very well Monday night," Roby said. "The president's decision was not an easy one and it might not be a popular one. But I believe it is the right one."
Trump called for a renewed commitment to winning the 16-year-old conflict although he did not reveal specifics on troop increases.
Roby praised Trump for not "showing our enemy the playbook."
That was a reference to President Obama's announcement of troop withdrawal plans at the same time he announced a troop surge in 2009.
"The president laid out a clear vision ahead for what lies ahead in Afghanistan without giving away our strategy to the enemy," Roby said.
Roby is a Republican from Montgomery who is in her fourth term representing Alabama's 2nd Congressional District, the southeastern section of the state. She spoke during breakfast at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.
Roby talked about the deep divisions in the nation and how social media and the 24-hour news cycle amplify the polarization. Roby said the constant noise obscures good news that the economy is growing. She said Congress needs to focus on health care reform, tax reform and rebuilding infrastructure.
"I really think people are primarily concerned with their ability to get and keep a job to provide for their families," Roby said. "That's what's most important."
Roby announced she would not vote for Trump last year after the release of the 2005 "Access Hollywood" video of Trump crudely talking about groping women. Roby said today she wants the president to be successful and that Trump's agenda lines up with her own positions on key issues.
"I want tax reform. I want to repeal Obamacare. I want to secure our southern border," Roby said.
Roby said she disagreed with the president's recent public attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Most recently, Trump has reversed course and praised Sessions.
While speaking to reporters after her remarks to the chamber, Roby was asked about the calls by some Democratic members of the House to rename military bases named after Confederate leaders, including Fort Rucker, the Army aviation base in her district.
"I haven't seen the news reports as it relates specifically to renaming military installations," Roby said. "I have, however, heard calls for as it relates to statues in the Capitol. Which, by the way, Ms. (Nancy) Pelosi was speaker of the House for a very long time. She had an opportunity to make those decisions then.
"I really think the broader focus here should be as leaders, how do we unite our country. We have a lot of divisiveness. A lot of hatred. And we need to figure out how do we bring our country together in this time."
Roby also talked about the effort to recruit an important new military program to Montgomery.
The 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama Air National Guard is one of five sites competing to be one of two home bases for the Air Force F-35 Lightning II. Roby said Alabama is "very well positioned" and has made a strong case. A decision is expected this fall.
"Our men and women at the 187th demonstrate and have demonstrated their professionalism and their capability," Roby said. "We meet all the criteria, and so now it just comes down to the decision-makers making that decision."
State Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise, is running for Roby's seat in the Republican primary next year.