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Gov. Kasich 'Thinking Beyond Ohio,' May Seek Presidency

Gov. Kasich 'Thinking Beyond Ohio,' May Seek Presidency
(Brian Snyder/Reuters/Landov)

By Friday, 01 May 2015 05:00 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In what is the closest John Kasich has come to saying he will enter the already crowded Republican presidential field in 2016, Ohio's two-term governor said Friday that he would run "if I have resources to win and I have a chance to win."

"You can't be president if you can't win Ohio," Kasich said, replying to a question about how he differs from fellow Midwestern governors and presidential possibilities Rick Snyder of Michigan and Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

As if to underscore how near he was to becoming a full-fledged candidate, former nine-term U.S. Rep. Kasich used the occasion of a Christian Science Monitor press luncheon in Washington to discuss detailed foreign policy issues.

For those reporters who primarily recalled him as a past House Budget Committee chairman and conservative "reform" governor of the Buckeye State, Kasich's attention to foreign policy was a big surprise.

"He's thinking beyond Ohio," Al Eisele, veteran Washington correspondent and columnist for "The Hill," whispered to Newsmax during Kasich's remarks.

The Ohioan likened President Barack Obama's openness to Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's demand for lifting all U.S. sanctions as part of a proposed nuclear agreement to being "so hungry to get a car, you'll pay anything for it."

"You lift the sanctions, you'll have an ayatollah [ruling Iran] for a long time," Kasich said, adding that the theocracy in Iran "will be far more likely to go when they feel the sanctions."

Calling Israel "a great ally," Kasich said that, in the Middle East, the U.S. should also support Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia as part of a strategy for national security. He did, however, voice problems he had with Saudi laws "saying women can't drive and women can't leave the country."

Kasich went on to call for "tougher sanctions against [Russian President Vladimir] Putin" and good relations with Turkey, and insisted that "we missed a great opportunity in Syria."

He also voiced opposition to the concept of "nation building," declaring that U.S. military action in a foreign country should mean "exert force, be successful, and come home."

Acknowledging Croatian TV correspondent Branka Slavica in the audience, Kasich referred to his own roots in Croatia and said U.S. relations with central Europe and Europe in general "have eroded over time" and have to be healed—"just like the relations between Republicans and Democrats in Congress."

"It's easier to fix relations with foreign leaders than it is Democrats and Republicans," he said.

As president, Kasich said, he would pursue his vision of making Congress "more collegial," and said intended to do this by personally talking to lawmakers of both parties "one at a time."

When lawmakers of different parties do not get along, he added, "it sends a message to the world that America is losing strength."

Kasich was accompanied to the Monitor luncheon by longtime Press Secretary Rob Nichols and Franklin County (Columbus) GOP Chairman Doug Preisse, a close political adviser. He didn't offer any clues as to who else would be assisting him on his not-yet-officially-announced presidential campaign or advising him on policy.

The governor did, however, reveal that he had "had conversations with Steve Forbes" about his concept of the flat tax. In Kasich's words, "the beauty of his plan is that one can opt for the flat tax or take the traditional income tax." He added his opinion that "the corporate tax rate is too high."

Without offering any timetable as to when he would make his candidacy official, Kasich did say that "if it works, great. If not, I can pursue my ambition of going on the PGA [pro golf] tour."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.






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In what is the closest John Kasich has come to saying he will enter the already crowded Republican presidential field in 2016, Ohio's two-term governor said Friday that he would run "if I have resources to win and I have a chance to win."
John Kasich, Ohio, run, resources
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Friday, 01 May 2015 05:00 PM
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