Heller: Obama said we can bomb Syria "because we think we can get away with it"

President Obama told GOP senators he would authorize bombing Syria "because we think we can get away with it," Sen. Dean Heller said last week in a wide-ranging interview in which he first said he would not shut down the federal government  but then said he would not vote for a budget that contains Obamacare.

Heller's comments came Friday evening during an interview on Vegas PBS' "Nevada Week in Review" in which he also said the left is "all for" bombing Syria and half of Democrats want to shut down the government (what?), said Obamacare is the reason the economy "is in the tank today" (paging Gov. Brian Sandoval), said he backed immigration reform because it would "expand the economy" and declared marijuana to be a gateway drug. It didn't get the kind of coverage that the majority leader's NWR interview garnered, but there is some interesting -- and odd -- stuff during the half-hour.

Some excerpts are below and you can see the entire interview here.

Syria:  I’m very concerned about what the implications are if this thing were to escalate.  There’s some real mixed messages.  Vice President said we’re going to wipe out 85 percent of their military forces; we’re talking planes, airplanes, tanks and everything else.  And then we have the Secretary of State, Secretary Kerry saying, it’ll be unbelievably small.  So, too many mixed messages, too many concerns, too many unanswered questions, and for that reason I came out opposed....I don’t think any American at this point wants to get involved in a civil war in this country, and frankly, I agree with them.

On meeting with the president: And, we were able to ask questions.  And one of the questions that was asked was, if Russia had done this would we be bombing Russia?  If China had done this would we be bombing China?  He said no.  We’re only bombing it because it’s Syria.  Because we think we can get away with it.  And I don’t think that the reason we’re going to bomb Syria is because there’s moral conduct.  We want, the Administration wants to prove to Syria that they have to adhere by certain moral conduct.  That’s why we’re going to drop missiles.  We’ve never done that before in this country.

Government shutdown: And I’m going to be very clear here, that I don’t support closing down federal government.    I’m not one that wants to close down this federal government.  Now, we have Republicans that do, under certain circumstances say, they will support closing down federal government, one of them, obviously, being Obamacare.  We also have half the Democrats over there saying let’s close it down also.  Because, they, the Republicans are saying it for policy reasons, and the Democrats are saying it for political reasons.  They know if they shut down the federal government everybody in America, they think everybody in America is going to blame the Republicans.  That’s not healthy.  That’s not healthy when half the Republicans and half the Democrats want to shut down this Federal government.  I don’t want to shut it down

But at the end of the day, to avoid a government shutdown, would you support passing a budget that also funds Obamacare? Well, I, probably not, to be fair with you, probably not.  I haven’t supported the Affordable Care Act, I voted against the Affordable Care Act, I sat on Ways and Means, and voted against the Affordable Care Act, so I’ve had plenty of opportunity to share with Nevadans how I feel about what I think is a horrendous piece of legislation and frankly, is the reason our economy is in the tank today.  It’s because of the uncertainty.

Guns: You know and I do believe that we ought to make sure that we do make sure that those who have mental adjudicated background issues, that their access to weapons and perhaps others that may be deemed, that would have to be careful owning a gun, may be there’s a move.  But this isn’t an easy question, or for that matter, an easy answer.    There is no easy answer for this.  If you take a look at the legislation that we were talking about back in Washington D.C.; if my second cousin called me up and wanted to buy my 22 from me I’d have to do a background check on my second cousin.  And I just don’t think that’s where the Second Amendment is coming from.  And, I look at the issue itself, I’m not that concerned about the politics of it, though, people keep talking about poll questions, and polling data on this, and you know they keep saying that 80 percent of America supports limiting Second Amendment rights and I completely disagree with that.

And frankly, frankly I’ll tell you this, the left says that you gotta support this because 80 percent of America is for it, and yet, 80 percent of America is against going into Syria and the left’s all for that.  So, you know, there’s a lot of mixed messages out there.

Immigration: I just hope, at the end of the day, they realize what I’m trying to do is, one, expand the economy, and almost every economist has talked about this particular piece of legislation, talked about the fact that it will help GDP, and, to me, that’s my emphasis.  We can talk about Syria, and we can talk about gun control, we can talk about immigration, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to talk about economy and jobs.  And, I’ll always take a look at every issue in that light.  Is it going to help create jobs?  Are we going to turn this economy around?  Are we going to start bolstering this economy so that we can solve the problems in this country?  And I think immigration fell down, came down that road, and I think it helped expand the economy, and in the long run, America will be better off and be safer because of it.

(State Sen.) Ruben Kihuen was a great help.  I’d pick up the phone and call him, what do you think about this particular provision in this piece of legislation.  He was helpful, he was really helpful.

Prince Harry the savior: You don’t put anything past the leader.  You know, Senator Reid understands where most people are on this particular issue and he’s done a great job.  Frankly, he’s done a great job keeping nuclear waste out of the state of Nevada.  But, boy it’s becoming more and more difficult, and I think this nuclear option would have been very, very difficult to keep the waste out of Nevada.

Pot: Well, hopefully, it remains illegal.  I won’t vote, I think it’s a gateway drug.  I know a lot of people like to argue against it, but let’s keep it at the state level.  Let the states decide this, I don’t think the Federal government should get involved, and frankly, if it came across my desk and I was looking at it, I wouldn’t support the legalization of marijuana.