Politics

Hawaii congressional candidate Djou warns against ‘the nutcase in Pyongyang’

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Hawaii congressional candidate Charles K. Djou, who aims to become his state’s second Republican ever to serve in the House, says that despite all the tough talk on Iran, the real threat to the country comes from “the nutcase in Pyongyang.”

“I’m far more concerned about a nuclear bomb landing in Honolulu [from North Korea],” a fired-up Djou said Monday night, arguing the country’s leader, Kim Jong-il, has 20 bombs capable of striking Hawaii.

While admitting an attack by Tehran “would be bad,” he said it would likely target Israel and not the United States, and thus Kim Jong-il is a greater threat to America than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Djou said all foreign aid to North Korea should be halted, and the same type of pressure put on Iran by the United States should be placed on Kim.

Djou, who has been described in the media as “the next Scott Brown,” is running in May’s special election for a seat long-held by Democrats but now within reach for Republicans following the resignation of Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who gave up the seat to run for governor.

Like Brown, Djou bills himself as opposing Obama’s health-care bill, but is more moderate than other Republicans on social issues. He supports repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and says Roe v. Wade shouldn’t be overturned.

Asked about the comparisons with newly installed Massachusetts senator, Djou pointed out other superficial similarities: Both are lawyers, both have two daughters and both have military backgrounds. But there’s one thing the Hawaiian candidate said he doesn’t have in common with Brown, who in his youth infamously posed for Cosmopolitan magazine: “no nude photos of me anywhere.”

During a meeting with several reporters at a Washington steak house, he said “nothing can make me more proud” than for a Republican to represent Obama’s home district — and that it could have broader political reverberations outside Hawaii.

“It really makes a statement that no Democratic seat in the country is safe,” he said.

He is the only Republican contender among the two other candidates: State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa and former Hawaii Rep. Ed Case, both Democrats. “They dislike me,” he said of his opponents. “But they really hate each other.”

Neither could be reached for comment.

Djou, a Honolulu city council and former state House representative, was in Washington this week to raise money and meet with national Republicans, though he was quick to say he does “not covet, and I do not seek national support.” Though he said he’s happy to get whatever help he can get, most of the money he has raised — 94 percent of it — has come from inside Hawaii.

Gautham Nagesh contributed to this report.

  • vgitalian

    It’s important to note that in the race for the Congressional seat vacated by former Congressman Neil Abercrombie there are officially 4 candidates! In fact, Rafael del Castillo is another candidate who has the capacity to become a major rival and even win the election.

    So why hasn’t anyone heard of this candidate? Why have all the stories been limited to the three career politicians mentioned in this article. Should I conclude that these candidates with name recognition need to be protected from a newcomer who represents true democratic ideals that all voters have a strong desire to protect? I feel very strongly that the failure of our media to report what every candidate stands for in this very important election is a clear danger to the rights of voters everywhere.

    I am not certain why del Castillo has not been mentioned. It seems that in an election the news media has certain responsibilities. How can anyone make a choice unless they have all the information? Voters have a right to hear all of the candidates’ views, and a right to solid information to enable them to choose their leaders honestly. The voters need balanced and impartial information, unbiased for or against any candidate, including by omission. Especially when a candidate brings a perspective that challenges the status quo and represents a constituency that other candidates do not. del Castillo is the only candidate who is not a career politician. He represents a potentially immense block of voters who have tired of politics as usual.

    I hope to be hearing much more about del Castillo!

  • silverspirit2001

    Lets see

    How many north Koreans are their?

    How many muslims?

    Both the muslim and Korean world have nuclear weapons.

    Now, who has the crazy philosophy that has endured 1600 years?

    • thebigodoopedu2

      that’s just the point…They endured while the rest of the world lived. If you support the life style they have lived you don’t deserve the life style your living. These fascist philosophies don’t render themselves equal among it’s inhabitant. I wouldn’t brag on having a 1600 yr old philosophy that hasn’t changed/evolved one ounce in all that time. It’s actually very sad and dangerous to the world and it’s population. and yes indeed they do have Nukes. All the reason to make your first blow count.

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  • thebigodoopedu2

    Does he have any idea how ridiculous he is?

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