Q & A
The Challenger: Andrew M. Rosenberg
Thursday, June 3, 2004; Page VA17
On Tuesday, voters in Arlington County, Alexandria, Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County will go to the polls to select a Democratic candidate for the 8th Congressional District of the House of Representatives. Running in the primary election are seven-term incumbent Rep. James P. Moran and lawyer Andrew M. Rosenberg. The Washington Post posed several questions to each candidate.
Andrew M. Rosenberg
What is the main issue in this race?
The main issue is that voters in Northern Virginia are looking for a representative who will vote the right way and demonstrate sound judgment. For too long they've been disappointed that their representative doesn't demonstrate sound judgment on a regular basis, and they want to do better.
What's the one issue 8th District constituents are most concerned about?
Transportation and growth policy is number one. We are ranked as having perhaps the second-worst traffic congestion problems in the country. It is a problem that seems intractable. Voters are looking for new ideas, new approaches to addressing this concern.
Do you support the war against Iraq?
No. I believed and continue to believe that the premise under which we were going to war was faulty, that there was no imminent threat to the United States and that although Saddam Hussein was a terrible tyrant for whom I have no sympathy, I am very concerned in the unilateral manner in which we went to combat. I have always been concerned that we were not facing an imminent threat to our national security, which in my opinion is a vital element to any decision to send our troops in harm's way.
What do you think of current U.S. policy in Iraq and the administration's handling of the prisoner abuse allegations?
I think that our policy in Iraq demonstrates the lack of any forethought that this administration brought to bear on the decision to go to war. It demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation in Iraq and of the wants and desires of the Iraqi people. I think that in regard to the prison abuse, that Defense Secretary Donald [H.] Rumsfeld ought to resign and take responsibility for these unacceptable practices that appear to have been approved at the highest level of our government.
Do you support the planned June 30 turnover of the government to the Iraqis?
I would like our troops to return from Iraq as soon as possible, and I would like to see control handed over to the Iraqi government as soon as possible. That said, I don't believe in arbitrary deadlines. I believe the situation there needs to be stabilized before we can realistically expect to have a government to hand control over to. It [the turnover date] doesn't look realistic to me right now.
There is a difference between the candidates on the issue of banning late-term abortions. Can you explain your position?
My position is that as difficult as a decision to terminate a pregnancy is at any stage, it is a decision that must be made by the woman who is carrying the fetus. The government has no business telling a woman what to do in those circumstances. And as traumatic as late-term abortion is, it is a very rare procedure. It is usually only utilized by a woman who wants to have a child but for whom the health implications of a difficult pregnancy make that impossible.
The district includes Arlington and parts of Fairfax. Many Fairfax commuters would love to see Interstate 66 widened inside the Capital Beltway, while many in Arlington oppose that. Would you work for federal money to widen I-66?
© 2004 The Washington Post Company