The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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October 24, 2012

Candidates' Corner — John Raese

(Continued)

Is there any country in which you would allow foreign aid to continue?

RAESE: I think that would be on a case-by-case basis. I think that it is very important to fund Israel. It’s a true form of democracy as we know it in the Middle East. I think countries that are friendly that work together that have a vested interest as we do in the world’s scenario. I think it’s admirable. But to fund countries that are adversely aimed at us, I think is inexcusable. And we do it all the time. And my example with Pakistan.

What I would like to see done is something that we should have done a long time ago and that’s called the Strategic Defense Initiative, and that’s better known as Star Wars, or it’s better known, as Joe Manchin used to like to tease me on television a lot, it’s putting a laser system across our country, and Ronald Reagan put the Strategic Defensive Initiative together. It works. Bill Clinton, when he was president, demolished it. It is a $20 billion project to protect our country. Why do I bring that up with foreign aid? That’s the type of situation where, if you  really want to look at keeping the sovereignty and protection of our country, I think that would be the No. 1 thing we should be for — the national defense of our country, and when you look at the money that we throw away on foreign aid, which could be spent domestically in this country, there are a lot of projects that we could spend our time on and that would be one of them.

The so-called “war on coal” by the EPA has purportedly cost West Virginia thousands of mining jobs. What could you do to convince the EPA to take a more moderate approach, especially by encouraging the agency to consider the impact on jobs with regulatory procedures?

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