Roby on gov bid: I’m flattered

Published 12:21 am Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Speculation and rumors have already begun for the 2018 gubernatorial race and 2nd Congressional District Rep. Martha Roby’s name is among those being suggested as possible candidates.

On Tuesday, Roby told the Star-News that right now she’s running for House of Representatives.

“I’m just trying to be the best representative I can be,” Roby said. “I’m flattered to have my name brought up.”

Roby, who is in her second term in the House, was recently appointed to the House Appropriations Committee, which aids in the allocation of tax dollars and is on the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Benghazi is the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on an American compound that left four Americans dead.

On Tuesday, Roby spoke at the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours event, where she said traveling around her district re-energizes her.

Roby spoke on the investigation into Veterans Affairs, where she said she was “pretty disgusted” with the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.

Investigations revealed that employees had falsified wait times in Montgomery and Tuskegee; that 1,000 X-rays were lost and unread, and most recently, an employee took a veteran to a crack house to purchase illegal drugs.

“It makes me physically ill,” Roby said. “We want to make sure our veterans have access to health care in a timely manner. We are not going to stop going after this. We are making this a priority.”

Roby said they are working to remove the culture of intimidation in Montgomery and Tuskegee.

“It is hurting our veterans,” she said. “We want our veterans to have access to the best health care.”

In talking about Benghazi, Roby said the committee has found that “we were poorly postured” and that the men and women on the ground did everything they could with what they had.

Roby said a committee is currently being formed to determine what questions have not been answered and to go through the 25,000 documents.

“We met with families privately,” she said. “We did not want to make this a political circus. We are on a fact-finding mission. Stay tuned.”

Talks turned to ISIS, formerly known as the Islamic State or Iraq, which is a Middle Eastern jihadist group that has been wreaking havoc, which Roby referred to as “al-Qaeda on steroids.”

“We have issues with foreign policy,” she said. “We have allowed bad actors to run. ISIS has said over and over they want to break America into pieces. They hate our freedoms. No one wants another war. This president has the opportunity to show leadership. My hope is he will do that.”

Mayor Earl Johnson said he was concerned about the radicalized Islamic group, but questioned how to get rid of the terrorists without “putting boots on the ground.”

Roby, who admitted she didn’t have the best solution, said she felt that it was important to finish what you start and not to open your playbook to your enemies.


“We need decisive military action and we do not need to expose ourselves to the bad guys,” she said.

Roby said she felt that giving a timeline for America’s departure from the Middle East allowed for ISIS to sit back and wait before stepping in.

Roby also said she felt the U.S. needs to address border issues not only for those coming from Central America, but due to it becoming a national security threat.

“The problem with ISIS is that a lot of people have access to Western passports,” she said.

Covington County Economic Development Commission President Rick Clifton shifted the talk to sequestration, and how it has affected the local aerospace industry.

“We are not getting military contracts,” he said. “This is causing our businesses to close. We have no wrenches to turn.”

Roby said she understood the importance of the industry to Covington County.

“We are now seeing the full effect (of sequestration),” she said.

Roby explained that while Congress may be able to turn off the sequester for two years, that the aerospace sector is one that must be planned for 10, 15 and 20 years down the road.

Roby said it’s important for Republicans to win the Senate and pace themselves for the White House in 2016.