Pints and Politics with Gov. John Kasich–Will He Be the “Story” Coming out of the NH Primary?

GOP Presidential candidate, Governor John Kasich joined Chris Ryan and Dean Spiliotes, a Political Science professor at Southern New Hampshire University, for a beer and in-depth discussion of his record, the nominating process and issues facing our nation. With one month to go before the Iowa Caucus and the First in the Nation, New Hampshire Primary, the Ohio governor is sitting in second place in some polls in the Granite State. At this point, the question is how can Kasich break out of the pack and capture the Republican nomination? He plans to continue doing what he has been doing which is using the same grass roots approach that he has used throughout his career. After the interview, Kasich was on his way to Hooksett, NH for his fiftieth town hall meeting. Kasich believes that his message has played well in New Hampshire because the voters want a person who will fight for the common person against special interests. Governor Kasich feels that the most important concern for the voters in this election will be about peoples’ wallets–which candidate can improve the economy and create jobs.

John Kasich pointed out the importance of balancing the government’s budget as a vital step in creating a climate for economic growth. In his experience as chairman of the House Budget Committee and as governor, Kasich believes that the country’s and Ohio’s economy grew because job creators had a feeling of security which encouraged them to take risks. Another priority would be controlling unnecessary regulations. If he were president, Kasich would freeze for one year all new federal regulations except those affecting health and safety. Also, Congress would be required to vote on any expenditure over $100,000. He would cut the corporate and personal tax rates and clean up the tax code. An additional variable in job growth is developing a trained and retrained work force. In preparing a budget, Kasich would freeze non-discretionary defense spending, but he would like to double funding for the National Institutes of health (NIH) to do more research into diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, ALS, and cancer.

Governor Kasich and up and coming journalist, Ryder Fisk
Governor Kasich and up and coming journalist, Ryder Fisk

A fun part of the interview was when ten year old, Ryder Fisk, stepped up to ask how President Kasich would stop people from misusing guns. He answered the young man by outlining the reasons for protecting the Constitutional rights of gun owners like Ryder’s parents for protection or sport. He also discussed the importance of people learning about gun safety and enforcing the gun laws that we already have. Governor Kasich ended with the importance of keeping people with a mental illness from getting guns. In another part of the interview, he was asked to comment on President Obama’s announced intent to use executive orders to impose increased gun controls. Kasich stated that executive orders that are forced down the throats of the legislators is not the way to behave. He admits that he has initiated executive orders, but it is usually with consultation with the leaders of the legislator. This might involve providing cover for an action with which they don’t want to be associated or to spur them into action.

Eventually, the conversation turned to foreign policy, especially the Obama administration’s relationships with Israel and Iran. Kasich feels that our undermining of the Prime Minister of Israel was a big mistake. If there was a problem, it should have been done privately. Also he feels that you shouldn’t be tougher on your friends than you are on your enemies. In regard to Iran, Kasich would reinstate sanctions after their recent violation of the treaty by enlarging their ballistic missile program. In our dealings with China, John Kasich would improve our cyber command in order to protect us from attempts by the Chinese to hack our systems and to retaliate if attacked again. Also, China needs to be told with certainty that they don’t own the South China Sea. In addition, North Korea poses another set of dangers. Kasich favors interdicting ships from North Korea that are transporting weapons and nuclear materials. His approach to Russia involves supporting Ukraine, but not making Russia an enemy.

Finally, Chris Ryan and Dean Spiliotes asked Governor Kasich how he would define being successful in the New Hampshire Primary. He turned the tables and had the pundits describe what a Kasich success would look like. The consensus was coming in second or third overall and first among the two other governors in the field–Christie and Bush.

Watch the complete interview