Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday he does not agree with his predecessor Gov. Bob Taft, who said recently that the death penalty in Ohio is a "dead man walking."
Though the state has put a moratorium on executions after several were botched, Kasich insisted Sunday on "Meet the Press"
that the reprieve will be lifted as soon as a suitable drug to administer lethal injections can be found, Kasich said.
"In this debate we forget the victims," he said. "I review all these cases. Some people I've said we will let them stay for a life in prison if I wasn't certain of who did what, but I've had these grieving families come to see me … people who had their mother, who have been gunned down. … It isn't about revenge, it's about justice."
That said, Kasich said the death penalty should be administered sparingly.
Kasich is a devout Catholic, and differs with his church on the issue. Still, he said it is consistent with his faith.
"At the end of the day, I'm the secular official," he said. "I'm also the governor. It doesn't mean my faith doesn't influence me. I have a job as administrator of the state of Ohio."
Kasich is expected to announce in a month his intentions on whether to join the ever-growing Republican field of presidential candidates. The only thing that would stop him, he said, would be if he thought he couldn't win.
"I don't want to burden my family and my friends," he said, adding that he has his own internal metrics to determine his chances of success.
"I don't need to do this to have a good life, but I think I can help serve my country," he said. "I've got the most unique resume and a terrific record."
Kasich spent nearly 20 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and touts his role in balancing the federal budget and military reform.
Kasich is low in the polls in a field that could end up with more than 15 candidates. Without high national name recognition, those accomplishments could be looked over by the public.
Even "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, a political junkie, accidentally introduced Kasich as the "former" governor of Ohio.
"I'm still the governor," Kasich reminded Todd.
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