Christopher Shays: “Cut me a little slack” on Iraq War
On Where We Live, Senate candidate talks war, economy, health care
Republican Christopher Shays represented the 4th district for 21 years, until he was unseated by Democrat Jim Himes in 2008.
Now Shays is back as one of a number of candidates running to replace the retiring Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Senate. Among his challengers is former WWE CEO Linda McMahon - who won the nomination in another Senate race in 2010.
During an interview on WNPR's Where We Live, Shays shared some of the reasons he thinks he lost in 2008. One was his support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "I lost an election because I was wrong," said Shays.
Shays did point out that many people, Republicans and Democrats were wrong about Iraq. "Cut me a little slack though," said Shays because "the CIA and others were totally wrong."
Despite admitting his mistake in initially supporting the war, Shays said the United States did have a national interest in Iraq. But when it comes to Afghanistan, he has a different view. "I don't believe, and I never believed that we had the same national interest to be in Afghanistan," said Shays.
As the rhetoric and tension with Iran rises, Shays was asked about future pre-emptive strikes. "I am not going to say that we shouldn't do that," said Shays.
A listener called in and asked Shays about Paul Krugman's view on the economy. He said, "I do not think that he has a concept of growing the economy. I don't think he was fully aware of what happened in '08."
But back in 2008, Shays appeared on the Brian Lehrer Show and said "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." He admitted that his statement back then was wrong as well and probably cost him the 2008 election.
Earlier on in the show, Shays said he has not signed a pledge to never raise taxes because if he cut a tax somewhere and raised it elsewhere, he'd be breaking the pledge.
Shays said he would "absolutely" vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He then listed off the things he likes about the ACA including coverage until age 26 and pre-existing condition coverage.
He said that health care reform can't be done from Washington. "You can't do it on a national level. It's got to be done state-by-state."