John Kasich on Homeland Security
Republican Governor; previously Representative (OH-12); 2000 candidate for President
TRUMP: We can no longer defend all of these countries, Japan, Germany, South Korea. You order televisions, you order almost anything, you're getting it from these countries. They are making a fortune. We defend all of these countries for peanuts. You talk about budgets. We have to start getting reimbursed for taking care of the military services for all of these countries.
KASICH: We're in agreement that the Japanese need to do more. We're in agreement that the Europeans need to do more. But, at the same time, we have to rebuild the military. I have a balanced budget plan that cuts taxes, reforms regulations, but also builds the military, puts a $100 billion dollars more in defense.
A: I first of all think that we need to expand the voucher program so a veteran can get the health care they need as soon as they can possibly get it and should not be just limited to the VA hospitals. Secondly, my sense is you're going to have to decentralize the VA.
KASICH: Well, first of all, I think it's a bad agreement, I would never have done it. But, you know, a lot of our problems in the world today is that we don't have the relationship with our allies. If we want to go everywhere alone, we will not have the strength as much as if we could rebuild with our allies. Now, this agreement, we don't know what's going to happen in 18 months. I served on the Defense Committee for 18 years. And, if we find out that they may be developing a nuclear weapon, than the military option is on the table. We are stronger when we work with the Western civilization, our friends in Europe, and just doing it on our own I don't think is the right policy.
A: I would be working to get other countries to jump in and join us. I don't want to go alone. Let me tell you what I would do. Firstly, I would have supported the rebels in Syria that were in there to topple Assad. Secondly, I would have a coalition of other countries, including us, on the ground beginning to degrade and destroy ISIS, because, as you begin to do it, that whole caliphate beings to fall apart.
A: Well, I don't believe the drone program ought to be run out of the CIA. The CIA is an intelligence-gathering operation. The drone program should be operated exclusively out of the Pentagon. You know, the Air Force has the capability of doing extensive targeting. You don't have those capabilities in the CIA. And I have talked to former CIA people who have told me this.
I was astonished to discover wasteful spending in the Pentagon budget; I was even more astonished that hardly anyone was speaking out against it. The mantra in Washington at that time was to trim the fat from our social welfare and entitlement programs. But to take the welfare out of the Pentagon? Well, to do so as a cheap hawk Republican, who walked the political tightrope of being strong on defense and tight with a dollar. One of my congressional colleagues even called me a traitor to our country, that's how out there my position seemed to be among the hawks in the Republican Party, but my feeling was that we needed to ferret out this waste no matter where we found it.
I'll never forget sitting one Sunday morning in an Episcopal church, and for no good reason the minister started reading a letter from the bishops discussing why we shouldn't put missiles in Europe. I stood straight up and left. I thought, What do these bishops know about missiles in Europe? Fact is, it was those very missiles in Europe that bolstered the historic negotiations that ultimately led to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, but I didn't walk out because the politics was all wrong. I walked out because right or wrong, it had no place in the church.
My own take was that he should have been fired, despite his tenure, because his freedom of speech should not extend to scurrilous remarks that defile the memories of thousands of innocent men and women who died in those buildings. His comments, which he later claimed were intended as provocative, hit so many hateful, hurtful notes. Certainly, his speech should be protected, but tha protection should not extend to his job, because with his comments he discredited himself and his university. A public institution like the University of Colorado should not be in the business of underwriting such invective with taxpayer monies.
[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bill]:
The National Security Restoration Act:
No US troops under UN command, and restoration of the essential parts of our national security funding to strengthen our national defense and maintain our credibility around the world.
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