Hanna invites Long Island congressman to upstate New York

Jun 18, 2014

Republican Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) says that while he's moderate, he's willing to listen and talk to more conservative politicians and citizens. Hanna is being challenged in a primary in New York's 22nd Congressional District, which represents an area from Binghamton to Utica, and westward to Pulaski.

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, who has tea party support, is hoping to unseat him, saying he's not conservative enough. But Hanna says he's always willing to listen, even if he doesn't always agree.

"And frankly, we're all citizens of this country," Hanna said. "And if people are energized to get our there and say something, my job isn't to be dismissive. My job is to be a good listener."

Hanna brought Long Island Republican Rep. Peter King to central New York Tuesday.

King says there's room for both conservative and moderate Republicans in Congress.

"To me, again, this is part of the friction of a democracy. And there's always going to be give and take, back and forth. And there's a certain tension, but that to me is healthy," said King. "We as a party are much stronger now than we were four years ago. And partly, that's because of the Tea Party, part of it's also because of others in the party who have a slightly different set of ideas but embrace the overall Republican philosophies."

Voters will decide June 24 who will run on the Republican Party line in this fall's election.

ISIS poses "serious threat" to U.S.

While visiting Hanna, King said Congress saw the devolution of Iraq's security situation coming. King serves on the House Homeland Security Committee, and says he was surprised with hose quickly ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an extremist militia, was able to take over parts of the country.

"And I believe that while we should not put boots on the ground, we should use air power if it can work successfully. I'd be very reluctant to get Iran involved, I know there's been talk of that. But it's a very, very serious threat to the United States if ISIS should take over even a significant part of Iraq."

President Barack Obama has ordered several hundred U.S. soldiers to Iraq to provide security for American personnel.