Commonsense Conservative For Ohio


WBNS: Portman Takes On Poverty & War On Drugs With Eye On 2016


In a speech that could be a precursor to a run for the White House in 2016, Senator Rob Portman laid out a specific plan to tackle poverty, while questioning the 40-year "war on drugs" by the federal government.

"Too many in my own party avoid talking about poverty at all and how to address it," said Portman.  "We can't be a great party if we don't lead on this issue."

Portman delivered the speech at American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington.

Portman says 47 million Americans are now living in poverty and $15 trillion dollars has been spent since the war on poverty approach was launched.

He said the poverty programs backed by President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s have failed and it's time now for "constructive conservatism."

"So many Americans are losing ground and losing hope," said Portman.

Portman spent much of his speech advocating prison reform.  He called on fellow conservatives to support spending for recidivism reduction programs which could reduce the number of those in prison.

Read Portman's entire speech

Portman also suggested the war on drugs has failed to slow down problems related to poverty.

"After more than a trillion dollars spent in the war on drugs and thousands of lives lost, we are starting to understand that arrest, prosecution, and incarceration are not enough," said Portman.

He did not, however, embrace the movement to legalize marijuana, even for medical purposes.

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