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Issa On His Race For Congress, Refugees, Climate Change

Photo by Brooke Ruth

Darrell Issa at KPBS, Oct. 12, 2016.

Issa Discusses His Race For Congress


Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista


For the first time since 2002, the 49th Congressional District is at the center of a fiercely contested political contest.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, has represented the district for 16 years and has easily won re-election. But his high-profile investigations and support for Donald Trump seem to have created a viable challenger in Doug Applegate, a first-time politician and retired Marine colonel.

RELATED: Issa In Surprisingly Close Race With Applegate

Issa, who represented the 48th Congressional for two years before redistricting landed him in the 49th, is well known in Congress, most notably for chairing multiple hearings into the attacks on the American embassy in Benghazi, the IRS and the Drug Enforcement Administration's "Fast and Furious" incident.

The 49th Congressional District includes Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista and San Clemente.

Issa joined KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday. Hear Midday Edition's interview with Applegate here.


On his support for Donald Trump

I will not vote for Hillary Clinton. I’ve read the classified leaks that she was responsible for… I’m in a conundrum. I was very clearly with Marco Rubio. I campaigned for him for more than five months… he was my candidate but the system did not give us Marco Rubio. And the system on the other side gave us Hillary Clinton. And I do not respect her honesty sufficient to vote for her.

I want to see Mike Pence as vice president. I want to see maybe Rudy Giuliani as secretary of state. Chris Christie as attorney general. I want to see a reform team.

On the refugee crisis

Let's talk about refugees in general. We have more than 20 nations that are dysfunctional right now because of ISIS. We have a situation with the failed state that's been a failed state for a long time called Haiti. We have economic refugees around the world. America needs to figure out and properly allocate what our role is.

And I'll give you the answer on Syria because I've been there many times... we have a nation of over 10 million people in Syria... you're talking about millions of (dislocated) people, so whether we take 2,000 or 10,000 or 20,000 — I personally want us to put those dollars and effort not toward taking a handful of people who are basically economic refugees but disproportionately figure out how to help them where they are.

On the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

I'm a San Diegan and I drive past San Onofre every day and I know that San Onofre, sitting there on the edge of the ocean is not the right place to have the leftover material for 10 years or 10,000 — which is how long it'd have to sit.

On climate change

Your question is climate change and my answer is we need a plan for sustainable ecology. And we needed it since the '60s... the fact is we have a carbon consumption problem and measuring how much and how long is one way to look at it from a climate change standpoint but it's also a depleting resource... so yes, I want to make sure that we convert to sustainable energy. One of the challenges is, what's the fastest way to get sustainable energy.

If Hillary Clinton is elected president

The reality is, if she's elected, we'll work with her. I've done that with Barack Obama, I've done that with Bill Clinton. The fact is, I'm not in the executive branch... I'm in Congress and Congress' job is very different.

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