IN-DEPTH Congressman Mike Rogers Speaks to WILX about Retirement Decision

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

"It was really a short time ago that I decided to do this and it was a very difficult decision," said Congressman Mike Rogers, who chairs the House Intelligence committee. "It has been an incredible honor to serve the people of the eighth district 14 years. We've made a lot of accomplishments together."

WILX's Brian Johnson was among the first few interviews with the congressman on the day his surprise announcement came that he would not seek re-election.

"Somebody came and offered me a national platform to have national discussions on those issues that I think are really important for America's future, and it's just one of those really rare opportunities with a short window," said Rogers during a skype interview Friday morning with News 10.

"I wasn't looking for anything. They came to me about a year ago. I said thanks but no thanks, and they just kept coming back until finally I thought about what they were offering," said Rogers. "I did not want to leave my term early and they accommodated that and that helped in my decision."

Rogers still has nine months left as chairman.

"After lengthy and hard discussions with my family, my friends and my staff, I decided that this was the right opportunity and we think we can even do more by maybe impacting the needle for the 2016 election," said Rogers.

"Is this a step toward the White House?" asked Johnson. "Have you thought about running for president?"

"My focus is this year, be the best committee chairman I can be on intelligence and important issues. Then I am going to learn my craft in this new medium on the radio and having this conversation with Americans. We'll see where it takes [me]. I am not taking anything off the table."

Rogers' show will be syndicated by Cumulus Media. He said he thinks the show will roll out sometime in the fall of 2015.

"I am going to get to talk to people in their living room, their kitchens and their cars--every single day about issues that I think are important," said Rogers. "If you are libertarian, or republican or democrat or green party we are going to have some provocative and some robust dialogue and conversations that I think will serve well-- it's going to be compelling, interesting and give a very different discussion."

Rogers said America is swimming up stream on some issues.

"I've been engaged in national security debate and really the discussion about American exceptionalism--why that's so important for the United States to engage the rest of the world," said Rogers. "I think that opportunity to have that dialogue and that discussion going into 2016-- a presidential race is going to be very important."

Rogers is finishing his 7th term. He's held the 8th Congressional District seat in Michigan since 2001. He said the focus for the next nine months will be on important issues.

"How I can make sure that the national security posture is right, dealing with cyber security, dealing with revamping how the NSA operates and rebuilding confidence in that organization with the American people," said Rogers.


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