The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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October 24, 2012

Candidates' Corner — John Raese


Now, simply summarize your campaign, your theme, your ideas and tell us why you think West Virginia voters should send you to the Senate.

RAESE: I can tell you, you’ve been here as long as I’ve been here. To me, I want to preserve the America that I grew up in. I want to preserve America the way I understood it. I want to preserve capitalism, free market systems, a chance for people like Josh (a campaign aide) to go out and find a good job. But it’s really about our lifestyle, our way of thinking, and our presence in this country. I have been very blessed in my life. And I’ve had a wonderful life. I’m 62 years old right now. And I can’t think of a better place to grow up and have done what I’ve done right here in West Virginia. And I’ve been very fortunate to be in on a lot of different industries.

 But I can tell you everything that I have right now is under attack by the federal government in some fashion. And it’s gotten progressively worse. The EPA didn’t start under Barack Obama. It started under Richard Nixon, a Republican. And that’s a Republican and Democratic issue.

What my campaign is about is very simple. I want to downsize government. I want to regulate less. And I believe very firmly that we should be printing a lot less. Those four things. I think they’re very important to the future of this country. I think we can get this country back on track. I think we can lower our debt levels. I think we can be competitive. But have to free up government from interfering with the private sector.

Today, if we turn our health care over to the federal government, almost 65 to 70 percent of our economy will be controlled by the federal government. Out of all the organized counties in the world, that’s the highest. I believe very firmly that the only way out of this quagmire is capitalism and free enterprise. And capitalism requires the limitation of government powers to maximize the freedoms of an individual. I want to maximize the freedoms of our individuals. I want to maximize everything we can possibly do in this country to make it great again.

And when I say great again, it’s when General Motors is owned by the government. We don’t have the Big Three anymore. It’s when our banks are so heavily regulated by Dodd-Frank. It’s when our coal operations are completely controlled by the EPA. It’s when we have tariffs against steel that are like section 201 of the National Trade Act. And I can go on and on and on about the interference of government into the private sector. It’s time to free up the private sector. And our campaign is about exactly that. It’s called personal responsibility and personal freedoms. And I’m certainly running against not only a Joe Manchin or a Jay Rockefeller with the Democratic Party. But I feel like I’m running against a belief that government is the solution. I don’t feel that way. I’m running as personal responsibility and freedom is the only way out of this thing. And I think there is an excellent observation and an excellent example of what Ronald Reagan did in 1980, when he faced a very similar situation. He started to cut taxes. He started to cut regulations. He started to build our armed forces. He started to bring us back. I think the same thing needs to be done here.

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