Iraq War Vet-Turned-Candidate: ‘There Are Things Worth Paying For’

Nov 22, 2011 4:49pm

Chris Miller, a decorated Iraq War veteran who’s now running for Congress as a Democrat in Illinois, is watching budget wrangling in Washington with special knowledge about what Pentagon cuts mean.

President Obama has vowed to repeal any attempt to mitigate the cuts that isn’t part of a broader deficit deal.

On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Miller, D-Ill, said he’s not sure that’s the right strategy.

“We have to take a careful look at making any cuts, especially to the military,” said Miller, who served nine years in the Army and received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in Iraq. “I don’t think that this world is gonna become a safer place or a place that we have to stop worrying about defending just because we’re having budgetary issues.”

“The problems that we have are not — they’re not simply going away, and we need to think about that and things in that context of there’s things that are worth paying for. And I believe that national security is one of them.”

Miller, who’s running for an open House seat in southern Illinois, said his message on the trail is “jobs, jobs, and jobs.”

“I’m not going out there to talk about I’m a Democrat, I’m a Republican, or anything like that. I’m going out there to talk about issues,” he said.

And Miller said he’s not ready yet to promise his leadership vote to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, should he be elected to Congress.

“I’ll have to speak with Nancy Pelosi,” he said. “I don’t know her, you know? I’ll have to see who else wants to do it and who the candidates are, just like I hope everyone’s gonna consider who I am as the candidate, and we’ll take the vote when we get to it.”

Also today, we chatted with Peter Schaumber, the former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, about the prospects of a deficit deal – plus his concerns about the direction the NLRB has taken under President Obama.

“Something has to be done about the National Labor Relations Board, because unfortunately it is undermined its legitimacy,” Schaumber said. “There’ve been a variety of decisions which have been made by the National Labor Relations Board which is really destabilizing business.”

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