Exclusive: Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi talks about decision to resign from Congress

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Rep. Pat Tiberi says, more than anything, his decision to resign from Congress was about family.

“Nobody feels sorry for a Congressman and I get that but there’s a part of this job that’s pretty grueling and you miss a lot of family time and you miss a lot of your kids and there are things more important than being a Congressman and one of those is being a dad,” Tiberi said during an exclusive interview Monday with NBC4.

Tiberi, 54, announced his decision to resign last week. He did not specify a date but said it would be sometime before the end of January.

An eight-term Congressman, Tiberi says he was recruited by a headhunter for the job as president of the Ohio Business Roundtable. He says at first, he declined. But when the headhunter called a second time, Tiberi decided to reconsider. He calls it is an “amazing opportunity.”

He admits to being frustrated by the inability of Republicans to resolve the health care issue. “I would have liked to have fixed the healthcare bill long before this year, quite frankly,” Tiberi said. “But the fact of the matter is that the healthcare bill became partisan long ago. It became partisan in 2009 before it even became law.”

Tiberi laments the loss of manners in politics and across society. “It’s on cable news, it’s on the radio and now Americans reflect that as well. If they don’t like your opinion, they yell at you. And I’ve actually had supporters say to me, ‘you need to yell and scream more’. Well my mom and dad didn’t raise me that way. That’s not what I believe in.”

Tiberi said his father is ill and his mother died this summer, ten days after being diagnosed with cancer.

Tiberi says if asked he would advise President Trump to stop tweeting.

He says he has tried not to be too vocal about it though, “because you’re supposed to respect your president.”

“I don’t think he’s going to take my advice on how he could improve his presidency but I still have hope that he can turn this around.”

After eight terms in Congress, Tiberi says some of his proudest moments involve some of the smaller problems. “Helping regular folks in the district who have problems with the federal government,” Tiberi said. “Going out to a restaurant with my wife and the server at the end saying, ‘you helped my father save his house. He’s a veteran and he almost lost his house. The VA almost took it and your office and you stopped it from happening.’…Those are successes and we’ve helped thousands and thousands of people…I’m really proud of that.”

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