Raese won’t hide conservative views

W.Va. hopeful seeks Byrd’s seat in Senate

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“I don’t think it is. And the reason I don’t think it is, is the same reason the [National Recovery Administration] was not constitutional in 1936,” he said. “It was declared unconstitutional because it was government micromanaging an intervention into the private sector. Well, what are price controls, or what are wage controls? They’re the same thing.”

Mr. Raese said he would like to see fewer filibusters and more cooperation in the Senate, but said the rules protect the right to filibuster. And he said if given the chance, he would have used the delaying tactic on both of Mr. Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

“If we could have filibustered, I certainly would have,” Mr. Raese said.

He said he will support Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell to continue to be Republicans’ leader in the Senate, saying they’ve been friends since he made his own first Senate bid in 1984.

“I just have an allegiance to him. He’s a good conservative, he’s somebody who makes a good message for our party, he’s a good leader,” Mr. Raese said.

Mr. Raese says Republicans are poised to earn a “negative mandate” from voters - a charge to block or roll back the Obama agenda.

The biggest mandate from the voters, he said, “is a rejection of socialism, pure and simple, and a rejection of [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid and [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, when they pass bills that people don’t read,” he said. “It is a negative mandate. When I travel around, people are hot. They’re not hot about positive things, they’re hot about what’s happened to them. And they’re angry and they’re upset.”

The candidate said he opposes congressional spending earmarks, and said he thinks West Virginia voters are ready to be done with the steady diet of pork-barrel projects they enjoyed courtesy of Mr. Byrd and federal taxpayers.

But he also said earmarks, which account for less than 1 percent of discretionary spending, are a small part of the spending problem in the Capitol. He said big cuts are needed, and asked for specific programs, he took aim at two full Cabinet-level departments.

Mr. Raese said he’s never been able to figure out what the Energy Department does - “I’m going to learn, I hope I have the opportunity, but I don’t understand for the life of me why we have it.” The Education Department, he adds, “has failed miserably across the United States.”

“I think it’d be better off just giving every state a billion dollars. You’d be ahead,” he said. “When you look at outcomes-based education, when you look at school-to-work, No Child Left Behind, the list is endless of failures.”

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