In the 1961 speech — famously known for its admonition of an emerging military-industrial complex — the former five-star general also warned of a similarly captive grip on U.S. public policy wielded by scientists and the government that funds them.
"There's so much money that has gone into science research projects," Rohrabacher said, "and they have used it to intimidate people who disagree with their attempt to frighten all of us into changing our lives and giving up our freedoms to make choices."
The "strategy in spades" at hand, he said, are the locally elected liberals who want the state government to "do the work and let them make the decisions, then at the state level they want the federal government to do it, and at the federal government they want to create global government to control all of our lives."
The 48th Congressional District congressman, who lives in Eastside Costa Mesa, spoke to a largely supportive crowd from the Newport Mesa Tea Party. About 130 packed the Halecrest Park Swim and Tennis Club to hear the 13-term politician speak for nearly an hour.
Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger and 45th Congressional District candidate Greg Raths, a retired Marine Corps colonel and Mission Viejo resident, were among those also recognized by the local tea party's founder, Tom Pollitt, who lead the discussion.
Rohrabacher, a senior member on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, received his biggest applause when talking about the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Without discussing many specifics on his investigation, he said there was a "malicious effort" on the part of President Obama to "hide a wrongdoing" that could "well bring [him] down."
"I can tell you, it doesn't make this president look very good," Rohrabacher said.
He also expressed his opinion on Edward Snowden, the former intelligence agency contractor who leaked classified information on widespread American surveillance programs.
"I know it's going to be very controversial, but I find no fault for someone" who alerted the American people of "over-surveillance," Rohrabacher said.
"At least he tipped the American people off as to what was going on," Rohrabacher added, saying that, in his opinion, Snowden hasn't committed treason, but "the crime of breaking his contract."
He also called the U.S. government's record-keeping of phone calls "baloney."
"That's garbage, that's tyranny, that's totalitarianism," Rohrabacher said, later adding that "if you just become the candidate of efficient government, it can also be oppressively efficient, and we don't support that."
He said he feels the two major enemies of America are radical Islam "that wants to murder us right now" and an emerging China that is "out to destroy the United States and dominate the world, at least half the world."
"And they're doing it stealing all of our technology" and its research and development, Rohrabacher said.
"They are still the same hardcore Communist dictatorship that they ever were," he said.
The premise of being cordial with China, in a "hug-a-Nazi-make-a-liberal" fashion, has not worked, Rohrabacher warned.
"China is emerging as one of the great threats to national security and our children's future," he said.
Furthermore, some U.S. officials must move on from Cold War-era thinking, he said.
"We need to make Russia our friend," he said.
Rohrabacher also mentioned that he and U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) got a chance to speak with Obama when he was visiting Camp Pendleton earlier this week. Rohrabacher thanked the president for visiting the Marines and mentioned that his Orange County district has "the best surfing beaches in the United States."
According to Rohrabacher, Obama mentioned his Hawaii upbringing — also commonly lauded for its surfing spots — and said he felt the Southern California waters are "so cold" in comparison.
"Mr. President, we have cold water," Rohrabacher replied to Obama, "but you have to worry about the sharks back in Washington."