By Jeremy Morrison, Inweekly
Following his question-and-answer session with attendees of his Pensacola town hall on Saturday, June 1, Congressman Matt Gaetz took a few questions from local press.
On State Rep. Mike Hill’s comments pertaining to instituting the death penalty for gay people:
“I have not been able to hear those comments in full context,” said Gaetz. “What I heard was someone asked a deeply offensive question that reflected bigotry in my mind. And what I hope I heard in response was a nervous and uncomfortable laugh from Mike Hill and a sincere desire to move away from that discussion and onto a more productive discussion.”
He added, “I think it would be very helpful for Representative Hill to clarify that at no point was he agreeing with or supporting or embracing a viewpoint that was so hate-filled, but that he was uncomfortable and that he was desires of moving on. I hope that is what he was doing and I don’t want to judge what’s in someone’s heart out of a 30-second clip.”
Gaetz defended his position that the Mueller Report plays well for the president: “The elements of the Mueller Report that persuade me that their was no obstruction of justice are three fold.
- First, that you cannot really ascertain where the legitimate exercise of Article 2 powers end and where obstruction of justice begins.
- Second, most of the president’s actions occurred in public, which is indicative of a non-corrupt intent, if you are doing things publicly for everyone to see.
- And third, that there is no underlying criminal offense of collusion.”
“Now, I understand, legally speaking, that anyone of those three things taken individually might not be a full and complete defense to obstruction of justice, but taken in their totality, it is clear to see why there is no obstruction charge against the president and I think we ought to move past the Mueller Report and get to the business of the origins of an investigation that was corruptly begun.”
On opening the Eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and natural gas drilling: “I am totally opposed to any further energy exploration in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
- One, it is devastating to our military mission. You cannot fire experimental missiles over oil rigs.
- Second, it will be devastating to our property values and to our local economy.
“All over this country, communities want propriety. The wonder what the magic ingredients are to a successful as a community. We have’em! We are so prosperous and so lucky and now what we need to do in government is not screw it up, and if we allow oil and gas drilling off our coast we will substantially negatively impact the quality of life of every northwest Floridian and we will hurt the national security of the United States.”