Ohio governor and Republican presidential contender John Kasich outlined his plan on Tuesday to create a new agency to disseminate “Judeo-Christian Western values” across the globe.
“We must be more forceful in the battle of ideas,” Kasich said in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
He went on to say that he aims to create a “new agency that has a clear mandate to promote the core, Judeo-Christian Western values that we and our friends and allies share: the values of human rights, the values of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association.” He suggested the new agency would focus on four target areas: the Middle East, China, Iran, and Russia.
He doubled down on his statement in a subsequent interview with NBC News, explaining that he hopes to revitalize the United States’ Cold War era propaganda machine.
Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.
The latest news, delivered straight to your inbox.
“[The agency’s] job would be fundamentally to revive what we used to do when we beamed messages into the former Soviet Union,” Kasich told NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander. “We need to beam messages around the world about what it means to have a Western ethic, to be part of a Judeo-Christian society. It means freedom, it means opportunity, it means respect for women, it means freedom to gather. It means so many things.”
Kasich, who is polling at 3.7 percent among likely Republican primary voters according to a RealClearPolitics average, was not the only Republican presidential hopeful to make a Christian-centric statement in response to the shootings in Paris last week. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told Fox News that the United States should exclude Muslim refugees and only admit Christians seeking refuge.
“Those who are fleeing persecution should be resettled in the Middle East in majority-Muslim countries,” Cruz said. “Now on the other hand, Christians who are being targeted for genocide, for persecution, Christians who are being beheaded or crucified—we should be providing safe haven to them.”
Jeb Bush agreed, telling ABC News that the United States should only accept Syrian refugees if “you can prove you’re a Christian.”
But Kasich went one step further than his Republican competitors, proposing a new government agency to beam Christian values to non-Christians abroad. As for the money this new agency would require, Kasich explained to NBC: “Look, there’s nobody that’s spent more time shrinking government and cutting budgets than I have. But you also have to have priorities.”