Derek Beigh [email protected]
BLOOMINGTON — On the day President Barack Obama pledged to send 450 more troops to Iraq to fight the Islamic State (ISIS), a potential congressman offered harsh criticism of the president’s foreign policy during a stop in Bloomington.
“I don’t believe President Obama has handled ISIS in the right way,” said Darin LaHood, a Republican Illinois state senator running for the House of Representatives in Illinois’ 18th Congressional District.
LaHood, of Dunlap, said Wednesday “it was a mistake for President Obama to pull out our troops when he first got into office” because “we need to do everything we can to contain, stop and eliminate ISIS and radical Islam in the Middle East.”
“If you look at any conflict the U.S. has been involved with for the last 100 years… we’ve kept troops there,” said LaHood, listing Germany, Korea, Japan and Bosnia as examples. “That’s why they’re peaceful. To pull out our troops and have the disintegration of a country and Syria and the rise of ISIS is a mistake.”
LaHood said his year as a terrorism prosecutor “gave me good insight into some of the scary things that are out there.”
During a wide-ranging interview about his candidacy with The Pantagraph, LaHood displayed the conservative streak he thinks differentiates him from his father, Ray LaHood, a former area congressman and who also served as Obama’s transportation secretary.
LaHood affirmed his commitment to stopping Obamacare, same-sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana while promoting agriculture, veterans, small business and deregulation.
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