Peters asks Obama for answers on Iraq, defends health care law on "Michigan Calling"

Aug 22, 2014

 Rick Pluta sat down with U.S. Senate Candidates Gary Peters
Rick Pluta sat down with U.S. Senate Candidates Gary Peters

In a wide-ranging interview on Friday, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Gary Peters said he does not support sending ground troops to Iraq.

The militant group calling itself the Islamic State has taken control of large sections of Iraq. But the Michigan congressman says he’s not interested in sending troops back into the country to fight the group.

“At this point, I see no reason to be back in Iraq with boots on the ground,” Peters told host Rick Pluta on the Michigan Public Radio statewide call-in program Michigan Calling.

“And even with airstrikes, you need to have a longer-term plan to go forward, and I’d like to get a better sense of what that is.”

Peters then urged the Obama administration to brief Congress on the situation in Iraq. He says members have not been kept up to speed with what’s happening on the ground.

“Part of my frustration with what we’re seeing right now is that we haven’t had a briefing, we haven’t had any classified briefings as to what’s happening on the ground in Iraq, what has been the president’s response,” he said. “I’m willing to go back to Washington, D.C. today if he calls a meeting with Congress to talk about what’s happening on the ground there.”

Later in the program, Peters said he would not have changed his vote in favor of Obamacare knowing what he knows now. But he said the law must be “fixed,” because the federal health care law has not worked for some small businesses and has created bureaucratic problems.

But he says it has also allowed hundreds of thousands of Michiganders to sign up for affordable health insurance. That’s why Peters says he’d vote for the same bill again today.

“What you have to do is you have to go back, you have to make fixes,” he said. “And where things are not working the way that you thought they were going to work, you make it work.”

Peters’ opponent, Republican Terri Lynn Land, is scheduled to be on the program on Oct. 3. She has campaigned on repealing Obamacare.