The southern Californian Republican congressman in consideration for Secretary of State told Breitbart News he shares the worldview of President-elect Donald J. Trump and he would gladly leave Congress to lead the Trump State Department.
“I am not such an egotist, where I feel like I have to be the number one guy, but I believe what I believe will be good for America–and I believe my beliefs are the closest to what Donald Trump believes in and the policies he’s been advocating in his campaign,” ” said Rep. Dana T. Rohrabacher, who chairs the House Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
“If I would be offered this job, I would take it–not because I need to do it like so many people with an ego, such that they need to be secretary of state, but I do believe it would be my duty to jump into that and to take that job and that responsibility just for patriotic reasons,” he said.
Rohrabacher grew up in a Marine family and did not settle down until his high school years outside of San Diego. In his life he has been a campus activist, a folk singer, and a senior speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. He also worked at a reporter and then an editorial writer for the Orange County Register.
Among his House colleagues, Rohrabacher is known most recently as the first congressman to call out Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R.-Wis.) during the speaker’s anti-Trump Columbus Day conference call.
On the call, Ryan told the GOP congressmen that they needed to separate themselves from Trump in the aftermath of the release of a lewd 2005 audio tape of Trump speaking in a direct way about his courtship of a married woman and about women who want to spend time with celebrities. Rohrabacher told Ryan he was disloyal to the party and the party’s nominee, which sparked an uproar in the membership that forced the speaker to back away from his disavowal of Trump.
“It just so happens that Donald Trump and I agree on the major foreign policy decisions that will have to be made,” he said.
Rohrabacher said that central to his view of American foreign policy is the development of a quartet of nations, led by the United States, to grow the world economy, combat terrorism, and check the influence and power of China.
In the congressman’s view, Japan, India, Russia, and the United States share common interests, common rivals, and by working together would fashion a more peaceful and prosperous world.
This quartet would function as a global alliance, he said, adding, “Let’s take a look at China.”
The only way to impress upon the Chinese leaders that their intimidation of their neighbors must stop is to present them with an overwhelming force and power that they know they can never match, Rohrabacher said. “The United States is no longer in a position to do that alone.”
President Barack Obama made a cornerstone of his foreign policy a pivot towards Asia and to rebrand the U.S. as a Pacific power. Rohrabacher said the pivot was an attempt to meet the challenge from China, but China is now more emboldened because Obama’s pivot was so poorly executed.
“I’m trying to think of anything of substance in Obama’s supposed pivot to Asia–I didn’t see anything of substance at all and I am sure the Chinese did not,” he said.
“Thus, if you have a President of the United States beating his chest and suggesting some major foreign policy maneuver and then there’s nothing, that’s going to do nothing but encourage the Chinese,” he said.
Rohrabacher said America should embrace its position as a Pacific power through partnerships with India, Japan, and Russia, which is very much a Pacific power, as well.
“India and Japan are major powers in the world–right now–and their potential is enormous,” he said.
“If we are working with them and we have a workable coalition with them, that is something that would balance off the dynamics at play with an expanding China,” he said.
“Japan has a very strong economy that is quite often overlooked, and it so often overlooked as a force in the world because it is so peaceful,” Rohrabacher said.
For its first 30 years of independence, India was frozen economically and diplomatically by the legacy of English socialism that stifled its natural culture of enterprise and locked it into a quasi-alliance with the Soviet Union and anti-American countries, he said.
India is particularly poised to grow into a world power, he said.
“India has that kind of potential. With the right policies, India will have the same economic growth we have seen in China,” the congressman said. “Its people have incredible entrepreneurial and technological skills and talents.”
One of the sticking points to any coalition involving Russia and the United States is the question of how to unwind the entanglement of Russia with Ukraine over the Russian seizing of Crimea and other Ukrainian territories.
Rohrabacher said he proposes a fair and monitored referendum in Crimea to resolve the situation with Crimeans joining Russia, rejoining Ukraine, or going independent.
“The most important thing is that the United States should not be dictating things like this,” he said.
However, the Californian said in the areas in eastern Ukraine, where the Russians and their confederates have moved in to seize control other than in Crimea, Russia must back out. “That is not acceptable.”
The former speechwriter said Trump understands that the world has changed since the end of the Cold War, but American foreign policy and the factors that go into making foreign policy have been held over from that era.
“Trump would be the first president to come to power in total opposition to that dynamic that has governed us since the beginning of the Cold War,” he said.
Because of his election mandate and the platform he ran on, the incoming president has the leeway to try things that were totally unacceptable to the foreign policy establishment throughout the world, he said.
“That is really significant because the foreign policy establishment that has been in place for decades is disintegrating and it has not been able to meet the challenges,” he said.
“New alliances, like a grand alliance with the United States with Russia, Japan and India could well do more to preserve the peace and the stability of the world and secure our freedom–especially against radical Islam and China–than any of the old alliances could because the old alliances are not useful in meeting today’s challenges–compared to what they did 40 years ago.”