John Kasich: “…new agency…to promote the core Judeo-Christian western values…”

By Russ Phillips

NBC “Meet the Press”
11/22/15john kasich

Yesterday on “Meet the Press” presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich was interviewed by moderator Chuck Todd.

Several days before, Kasich spoke to the National Press Club on his proposal for national security strategy. He referred to creating a “…new agency…to promote the core Judeo-Christian western values…” The video of his entire remarks are here.

Chuck Todd questions Kasich about these remarks and other topics as printed below. The transcript of the entire program is here.

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. One of the most striking responses to the ISIS attacks on Paris was Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s proposal to create a new government agency to create “Judeo-Christian values.” It’s now an idea he’s amended a bit, and Gov. Kasich joins me now. Gov. Kasich, welcome back to Meet the Press.

I’ve got to start with when you say that phrase, we’ve gotta promote Judeo-Christian values around the world, particularly to the Middle East, in this atmosphere it can come across as a little anti-Islam. tell me why I’m wrong about that.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Chuck you need to calm down, what I have said is when I look at Voice of America or Radio Liberty, what I’ve argued is the Western ethic, what is it about? It’s about life, it’s about equality of women, it’s about the freedom of religion. It’s not about going to church, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about that every life has real meaning. And if you had read more carefully what you would have noticed is that I’ve invited moderate Muslims into this discussion as well.

Now I proposed some time ago a comprehensive plan to deal with ISIS, including boots on the ground, a coalition including Arabs, NATO forces, no-fly zones, sanctuaries, a lot of things. But I’ve said we could win the battle of bullets, I have no doubt about that. But we have to also engage in the battle of ideas when we have many people, including many young people looking for meaning in life somewhere other than in Western civilization.

And I think it’s the Western ethic, Western civilization that is under attack. They don’t want to negotiate. This is almost a metaphysical battle where they are saying they want to destroy our very way of life. And I think it’s important we communicate these ideas of the importance of an individual and equality of women and a respect for education and a respect for science.

And we’ll invite anybody in that wants to be part of that communication. And frankly, I am proud to see so many moderate Muslims beginning to stand up and condemn the attacks in Paris and to say that their religion has been hijacked. So I think it’s very important that we all come to grips with the fact that we’ve got to communicate who we are, and while we believe in life, they believe that death somehow gets them to paradise. So not any new agency and not anything about going to church, about who we are as the West that represents freedom and life and progress, that’s what we need to communicate to the world.

CHUCK TODD:

Now one of the criticisms, though, of making this about the West versus ISIS is you’re leaving out a lot of people that would like to live in the Middle East as Muslims–

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

That’s not true, Chuck–

CHUCK TODD:

–you know, and it becomes a clash of– you know, this idea that it’s about a war against a civilization.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Now Chuck, read Bernard Lewis. He will tell you that there was a time when Islam did represent science and progress and education and most of them do. So we not only want to go alone on this, but we want to agree and work together with people who share the view that the path to murder does not get you to paradise and in fact, it’s the path to the elevation of the individual and the ability to live a life bigger than yourself.

Look, Chuck, I’d tell you, I have been arguing all along we need a Gulf State-type coalition, including Arabs. We need to work closely with the Jordanians, the Saudis, we need to work with the Gulf states, the Egyptians. We need to have a coalition and destroy ISIS on the ground.

I’ve argued for no-fly zones that would include the Kurds, would include also Jordanians protecting these sanctuaries, so these refugees do not have to leave their country. But I’m also saying that when we win the military battle, what comes next?

You all ask: What comes next? Well, what we’ve got to make sure of is that we stop the radicalization of people and we can do it together. Everybody who believes in civilization and the Western ethic and the ability to embrace the importance of the individual’s lives here–

CHUCK TODD:

Are you concerned that the frontrunners in this race are basically casting all of the Republican Presidential candidates in an unflattering light–

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Well, they’re not casting me that way–

CHUCK TODD:

But let me ask you, where is the outrage on some of the comments about rabid dogs, on the idea that, you know, I mean, who is standing up on this? What is happening in your party, sir?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Chuck, as you know I’ve been in a virtual war with Donald Trump over these things. I flat out condemn the idea that we were going to have Muslims register. I mean, I can’t help it that maybe he didn’t have a camera out there, but the fact is I condemned it soon as it came out of his mouth, that’s not acceptable.

CHUCK TODD:

So why is it helping? Why is this appealing? Why is it working? Why do you think Trump is working?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

Well, Chuck, look, I don’t know how much he’s working and I don’t know who they’re surveying and I do believe in polls like you do, but at the same time, who are they surveying? And are these people for real? I don’t think so. I think at the end, when you don’t have experience, when we look at this critical nature of foreign policy.

You know, I listened to a lot of what Leon Panetta had to say, I agree with much of it. Much of it, I’ve already said. And the idea that we’re going to repel an entire group of people on the basis of their religion? It’s nonsense. Look, as you know, I have been in a Twitter war with Donald Trump.

CHUCK TODD:

Right.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

And experience does matter. And I have a lot of it, Chuck, that’s why I have a solid plan to fight ISIS and rebuild our military.

CHUCK TODD:

Last question, Bill Bratton, New York City Police Commissioner, says he wants Congress to ban the ability of anybody on a terrorist watch list, even if they’re an American citizen, they’re on a terrorist watch list, they cannot buy firearms. It’s a proposal that’s sitting in Congress. The N.R.A.’s not happy with it, where are you on it?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

I’ve never heard it until right now. I have a lot of respect for Bill Bratton, but I will also tell you that Americans want to defend themselves. And that what we really need to focus on on firearms right now is making sure that states use their databases to upload the people who have mental illnesses. And if we want to examine people who are on terrorist watch lists and not let them buy a gun, I mean, it’s something that ought to be considered. It’s the first I’ve ever heard of it.

CHUCK TODD:

Fair enough, Gov. Kasich, I will leave it there.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

All right, Chuck, thank you.

CHUCK TODD:

Stay safe on the trail, we’ll talk to you soon.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:

All right.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *