Ohio Gov. John Kasich is walking back a comment about establishing a new federal agency to “promote core Judeo-Christian, Western values.”
The GOP presidential candidate spoke Wednesday at Regent University, a Christian university in Virginia Beach, Va., and afterward said the United States doesn’t need another agency, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
“It’s really breathing life into something that’s kind of become dormant,” Kasich said. “You don’t hear much about the Voice of America anymore.”
“Once we defeat [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants] with bullets, which we need to do, and need to do now, we then can engage in the battle of ideas so that these radical groups don’t crop up one after another,” Kasich added. “I think it’s entirely reasonable for us to begin to tell the world who we are, what we believe, because it’s really all about hope, science, education, progress and the future.”
Kasich was giving a national security address at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday when he said he’d create a new federal agency that will have a “clear mandate to promote core Judeo-Christian, Western values that we and our friends and allies share” that will mainly focus on the Middle East, China, Iran and Russia.
The Ohio governor’s comment struck a nerve with some in his own party, who said he was seeking to expand the federal government. Republican presidential candidates also attacked his comments.
“We represent the Western ethic, Western values ... We’re talking fundamentally about freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, the ability to gather to address our grievances, the equality of women,” Kasich said Wednesday.