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Story highlights

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Tuesday he would create an agency to promote "Judeo-Christian, Western values" around the globe

Kasich said the U.S. is losing a war of ideas with hostile groups like ISIS

Washington CNN —  

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Tuesday that he would create an agency to broadcast “Judeo-Christian, Western values” in hostile countries as part of a broader war of ideas that he says the U.S. is losing.

“We must be more forceful in the battle of ideas. U.S. public diplomacy and international broadcasting have lost their focus on the case for Western values and ideals and effectively countering our opponents’ propaganda and disinformation,” Kasich said in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.

“I will consolidate them into a new agency that has a clear mandate to promote the core, Judeo-Christian, Western values that we and our friends and allies share – the values of human rights, the values of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association,” Kasich said. “And it should focus on four critical targets: the Middle East, China, Iran and Russia. Sophisticated strategies will be developed to communicate with each of these hard target countries.”

Kasich did not detail exactly which religious ideas he would push, nor did he address any concerns about infringing on the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, barring the creation of a state-sponsored religion in the U.S.

Many Republican candidates have talked about pushing Christian values, and former President George W. Bush pioneered faith-based initiatives. But Kasich is the first major party candidate this cycle to suggest creating a special agency dedicated to pushing religious values in other countries.