John Kasich, a nine-term former U.S. representative and the twice-elected governor of the highly coveted purple state of Ohio, has begun elucidating his narrative for the presidential trail: a "thrifty national security hawk," according to Politico
Kasich's strategy to separate himself from the pack of 17 candidates, particularly fellow governors, seeking the GOP nomination for the White House involves melding a strong national security platform with his "background on cutting spending and balancing budgets with defense."
During his 18 years as a U.S. representative for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, Kasich served on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, providing him noteworthy foreign policy savoir-faire.
He has been advised by an impressive list of foreign policy experts, according to his campaign, including former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, former Reagan national security adviser Richard V. Allen, and former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman Jr., in addition to renowned experts in counterterrorism, cybersecurity and the CIA.
During a speech Monday at an Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security forum, Kasich stressed the need to buttress the Navy.
"We have about 10 carriers now, my goal would be to get closer to 15," he told the crowd. "And you’ve got to have the ability to project power when you get there."
And in an editorial published Monday on CNN.com
, Kasich also expounded on the need for "renewing our Navy," the branch of the armed forces he opined has the "ability to project power globally" and "is critical to defending and advancing American interests, including ensuring the free flow of global commerce."
"Those who mistakenly think they can deny access to a corner of the world — particularly in the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf — need another visit from a carrier battle group to remind them that the global commons are, in fact, just that: the world's shared real estate," Kasich wrote.
He also cheekily underscored his vast budget expertise during Monday’s forum, Politico reports.
"I don’t know as much about budgets as some people," he chided. "I’ve only written 16 of them. And so it’s all about priorities. It’s all about making sure you get the most you can out of the government that you have."
He supports a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget, writing in the CNN piece that "when Washington takes up less space in the economy, job creators have more room to thrive."
While chairman of the House Budget Committee, Kasich wrote, he balanced the federal budget, and as governor of Ohio, he closed an $8 billion budget shortfall without increasing taxes.
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