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Monday, October 24, 2016

Governor John Kasich of Ohio declared his run for the presidency on Tuesday, becoming the 16th Republican to do so. A seasoned politician, he was the youngest person elected to the Ohio state Senate at 26, spent 18 years in the House, and was chairman of the House Budget Committee in the mid-’90s, where he was a key player in the bill that ultimately ended the government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996.

He’s a religious man who practices his faith with political actions, not just words, but it’s the mix of moderate and conservative positions that makes him something of an outlier from the gaggle of hard-right wingers on the campaign trail, and has led him to become a potential dark horse who could go far in this race. As he tries to make up lost ground and distinguish himself from the other candidates, here are five things worth remembering about John Kasich.

1. He’s got a symbiotic relationship with Fox News.

Fox News and the Republican Party are undeniably tied to each other. In fact, there’s an old argument that many GOPers running for president these days — some of whom have little real chance of winning the nomination — are just angling for a show on Fox News and an opportunity to make boatloads of money.

John Kasich already had his own Fox News show from 2001 to 2007, In the Heartland with John Kasich. He left the network to run for governor in 2009.

While there, he used his platform to talk about balancing the budget – his pet issue – setting the stage for his future candidacy. And Fox News repaid his services: Both anchors Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity have promoted him as a candidate, whether as governor or president.

Hannity especially is a fan, hosting Kasich on his programs many times, conducting softball interviews and openly promoting his candidacy.

In one appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, Kasich asked for donations while the network flashed his website information onscreen, triggering a complaint that was later dismissed.

As Media Matters for America outlines, numerous Fox News employees, from Rupert Murdoch to Mike Huckabee, have contributed money to Kasich’s gubernatorial campaigns. (Huckabee is, of course, now also running for the Republican nomination.)

2. He’s got a temper.

He might appear to be a pretty mild-mannered guy – more Scott Walker than Chris Christie. But his temper has pushed away donors before and even other politicians have sent out warnings about Kasich’s occasional outbursts.

His temper has been noted by reporters both local and national, from the ‘90s to the present day. “Abrasive” is a term that is commonly attributed to him, as in the following incidents:

  • He called a cop an idiot because the officer had the gall to pull him over for passing too close to an emergency vehicle.
  • He told The Atlantic’s Molly Ball that neither he nor his wife read the magazine. Then he insulted Ball, saying that her job was “really a dumb thing to do,” later berating her for asking what he “considered a stupid question” in front of a meeting of cabinet officials.
  • He has a history of being hostile to the media, too: He’s said he doesn’t read Ohio newspapers because they aren’t an “uplifting experience” and was said to be a complete jerk to both the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial board and his gubernatorial opponent, Ed FitzGerald, last year in a meeting with both. Acting like a petulant child, he refused to acknowledge FitzGerald and answer the board’s questions.

Yet despite all that, those who point out his temper also mention how he’s a font of ideas and is always willing to do the work involved in governing. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who worked closely with Kasich while they were both in the House, told Politico, “He has intensity, urgency and passion issues. He doesn’t see public policy as some abstract intellectual thing, but rather as an emotional, right and wrong process that can help or hurt people.”

“He does have a tendency to ready-fire-aim,” said Mike Hartley, who has worked with Kasich both on his 2010 campaign for governor and in his administration. “But here’s the thing – he makes things happen. His will is tremendous, and he gets people to follow him. He’s an ass kicker.”

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  • Sand_Cat


  • Dominick Vila

    The challenge for Republican candidates like Kasich is that their brand of conservatism is no longer acceptable for the radical faction of the far right that now controls the GOP. For those whose intellectual acumen is shaped after Dancing with the Stars, the Bachelor, and the Kardashians, anything that remotely resembles objective discourse or, Heavens forbid, potential agreement and compromise, is evidence of RINO tendencies and something that must be rejected at all cost.
    I suspect that the main goal for Republican candidates such as Kasich and Rubio, is the Veep spot on the ticket of whomever wins the GOP nomination, but even that consolation price is too much to expect from “luminaries” like Trump and Cruz, whose slash and burn strategy represents the only tangible asset they have to offer to remain on the limelight.

  • bobnstuff

    He won’t win. That being said, I like him. He is what a republican should be but isn’t.

    • patrick g van meter

      He won’t win because he is a republican. Until the Republicans realise that Reagan is their problem instead of a solution, they will not win. Take a closer look at what he has done in Ohio.

      • bobnstuff

        For every bad thing he did he did two things right. I can live with that. He grow up in The Rocks, a truly a working mans neighborhood, a place full of bars and churches. I also agree that Reagan was the worst thing to happen to the republican party.

  • bestofandy

    Another stupid Jesus freak running for higher office. Haven’t we had enough of these “old school” politicians running with bullshit “morals”.

  • CPAinNewYork

    Kasich sounds too much like Chris Christie to me. Your “blurb” on him is very thin and gives few details abou the man. He seems shallow to me, just like all the other politicians.

    • Dominick Vila

      The little I know about Kasich is that he is a classic Republican: balance the budget by gutting public schools, and social programs, while giving tax breaks as incentives to attract large corporations. Like the rest of them, the concept of paying for what we need and benefit from is evil socialism, something that must be destroyed at all cost, and a threat to our ability to buy the latest cell phone or video game.
      The days of Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower are long gone. Today’s GOP is a party devoted to serving the elite that owns 2/3 of our national wealth, our political processes, our foreign policies, and our well being. Interestingly, they are the target of an arrogant and greedy man who is exposing the ineptitude, subservience, and greed of his fellow “conservatives”.

  • pisces63

    I live in Ohio. He has affectively gutted our public school systems to salt the money away into the rainy day fund or to fund charter schools that are failing and under NO over sight. They are TRYING, so the republican held state house says, to pass a law to do this.
    Really???? Why wasn’t it enforce o begin with? Cleveland public schools took the biggest hit. Yet, I am supposed to vote for another republican who takes away funds and then moan the schools are failing. Schools pass or fail no one. We do not sit in a seat and learn through osmosis. They just wanted to get their cronies paid and to get around separation of church and state to pay parochial schools. That was blatantly
    obvious when Voinovich pushed the issue. Always using US to pass a bogus agenda. That BS about choice.

  • Steve Batchelor

    What I am getting my popcorn ready for is the debates between the clowns on the bus. Kasich’s temper pitted against Christie’s pitted against Trumps bombast while all the other clowns sit cowering in the corner will be must watch comedy TV.

  • Carolyn1520

    I probably should want to know about those who are running on the right but until they get down to the “last comic standing”, one is much the same as the other.