Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said he has and is ready to work with Republicans whenever possible, especially to stop endless wars, create manufacturing jobs in the United States, and take on special interest groups. Khanna revealed that he and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), through dialogue, have found common ground and worked with each other to solve many issues.
“We do get along. We work on common issues. We work to get PAC money out of politics. We both believe that lobbyists shouldn’t be running this place. We both believe that we shouldn’t be in foreign wars. Obviously, we disagree on issues, but we actually engage in dialogue and even hang out,” Khanna told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on Thursday.
Gaetz is one of former President Donald Trump’s strongest supporters and Khanna supported Sen. Bernie Sander’s (I-Vt.) run for president, but they both have been able to find common ground.
“What’s unique about this political realignment that I think Donald Trump had something to do with it, that Bernie Sanders had something to do it, is that you can actually have right-wing populist and left-wing populists working together, and sometimes it is the establishment against the rest of us,” said Gaetz.
Both said they have been criticized by their own party for working with the other but they put America before their party. Khanna said his colleagues are suspicious of his work with a conservative like Gaetz.
“Well, I’m deeply proud of the work too and you can look at my Twitter feed probably right now I’m getting criticized, anytime I do anything with Matt they say, well, why are you doing that, are you supporting his position,” said Khanna.
“I have been criticized for my work with Ro, but I’m proud of it because, at the end of the day, our team isn’t just the Republican caucus or the Democratic caucus, our team is the American people, and I have gotten criticism from leadership for it, and I don’t mind it at all,” said Gaetz.
Gaetz credited Khanna for refusing in 2020 to take lobbyist and Big Tech PAC money for his reelections, writing that about 62 percent of Gaetz’s contributions that year came from small donations under $200 and 37 percent came from large donations, according to Open Secrets.
Khanna praised Gaetz’s efforts to stop endless wars.
“When we were trying to end our involvement in Yemen, and when we were trying to make sure that we didn’t get into Iran. Matt went against people in his own party, in his own leadership to stop those wars, and if I was just trying to put together a coalition on the left, we would never have made the progress on Yemen, we would have never made the progress in stopping the intervention in Iran. So, people said why are you working with Matt Gaetz, I said, well if you care about stopping wars overseas, look at what he’s doing,” said Khanna.
The California representative is referring to Gaetz’s support to help pass (228 to 175) his bill in the 116th Congress, which prevents taxpayer funding from being used to take military action against Iran without congressional authorization.
Khanna emphasized the need for more dialogue between the two parties and working together to help Americans prosper.
“That’s what we’ve got to get over in this country. I get criticized when I come on Fox News. Come on, we’ve got to talk to each other, we got to work together in concrete ways to help move this country forward,” Khanna added.