Ohio Governor John Kasich joined me on today’s show to discuss his rising poll numbers in the Granite State:
HH: I’m joined now by Ohio’s governor, John Kasich who is the headline of the day, ahs a new ARG poll in New Hampshire, shows him rocketing into second place behind Donald Trump closing the gap quickly. John Kasich, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show, great to have you back, Governor.
JK: Thank you, always good to be with you, Hugh.
HH: Now I said after the last debate that you stayed very disciplined and presented a “I got the experience, been there, done that” message. Is that what is working in New Hampshire?
JK: Well, I think it’s some things . I think first of all, I have the experience and I’ve had success and I’ve been a reformer all lot my life. You can’t come from the [inaudible] rocks as you know Hugh, and not be a reformer, and I have a message – look, we have a lot of candidates who like the “Prince of Darkness,” I consider myself the “Prince of Light and Hope” and I don’t spend all my time getting people riled up about how b ad everything is. I acknowledge the challenges, but then I said, come together, the Americans first, we can solve these problems. The people are hungry for that. People don’t want to have to live in the lane of depression. They want to believe that in America it would be fixed and all work, and I think it’s working. Look, I’ve been doing this for a long, long time. People weren’t paying attention and we’re rising right now. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but what I’m happy about is that we’re raising the bar, we have a positive message and many people come and say, “You represent hope.” What can be better than that?
HH: Not much. Now Governor, my brother John still lives in Warren and he said to be the other day that he was surprised that you were not doing better and I said, “Will, just wait. I think a lot of Republican voters are voting strategically. They want all the information and that it’s going to stay fluid up until the day people vote. Do you agree with that assessment that the numbers that we currently have are indicative of very little even though it’s two weeks to Iowa?
JK: Well, I haven’t spent as much time in Iowa because it’s a very big state with four or five media markets and I got in July and there’s one of me to go around which my wife is thrilled about. Though when it comes to New Hampshire, it’s the reason we’re here is that it’s 1.2 million people and I tell you what, it’s like running for mayor or running for Congress and so I’ve done more town halls than anybody running for president in any of the states and people get the measure of you. I’m from Columbus, Ohio, we don’t national press people to come to Ohio unless there is a disaster.
HH: Or the Cavs.
JK: That’s a great success—
HH: Or the Cavs or Browns, they come to it for sports.
JK: Right. Last night, with the Cavs, I don’t know what to say, but here’s—
JK: Hugh, this a celebrity game and if we can come out of New Hampshire in a position where people are really talking about us, I’m going to go the whole way. It’s going to happen. We’ve got to get known, I got to get known because people are not hearing who I am and it’s happening here, it’s the news up here.
HH: Now today, you have this great poll come out and Donald Trump brings Sarah Palin from Alaska and eats up the earned media space. A, what do you make of former governor Palin’s endorsement and B, how do you claw back into the screen?
JK: Well, good or Donald, but up here, the endorsements that matter up here are the people who live here and I just had three newspaper endorsements on Sunday and it’s good. So town hall appearances – I’m basically living up here – if this works out just like it did for John McCain, we’ll be on a rocket up into space. Maybe not into space, but into people’s consciousness.
HH: David Drucker of the Washington Examiner said last hour, “Governor Kasich is rising because he’s going back to ‘happy go-lucky John Kasich,’ he tried irascible, doesn’t irascible well.” What do you make of his assessment.
JK: Well, I’ve been happy this entire campaign, Hugh and this whole business where somebody was saying I was [irascible] or something or whatever, these are not people I have any control over, but what I can tell you is that I have had a great time, win-or-lose, this has been fantastic, I’ve met many people, I have great memories. The last time I tried this, I didn’t have any good memories, but now I do.
HH: Now a difficult policy question. Ohio has benefitted from the fracking revolution but now the international l economy has got $28 oil. Does fracking produce too much energy and si that destabilizing the international economy as oil backs businesses and bonds struggle?
JK: First of all, fracking in Ohio does not produce a great number of jobs. We estimate direct and indirect about 20,000 out of the 385, 000 that we’ve grown. Ohio has become very diversified. The people will still frack, and we believe that the real job growth in Ohio is related to the development of things like plastics and alternative energy. When oil prices go down as much as they can, I am celebrating. It gives people more spendable money. I think it’s a good thing. Now oil will rebound, but right now, you have a glut and it also reflects, Hugh, the fact that the international economy is not humming, we can get America moving again with a strong economy, it will pull everybody along and that’s what we’ll look for. And by the way, that’s what I know I can do.
HH: What did you make of the deal with Iran and the fact and the fact that we left at least one person behind or at least unaccounted. Reminds me of Scott Spiker, the pilot who vanished into Iraq in 1991 and his remains weren’t found until 2009. What do you make of this Iran swap that left the former FBI guy behind?
JK: Makes you sick to your stomach. This whole Iran deal makes me sick to my stomach. You now are going to give them $1 billion dollars to spread problems throughout the Middle East and I will tell you that what the president ought to be doing is talking to our allies and saying that if one T or one dotted I is out of place on this nuclear agreement, we got to put the sanctions back on. It’s a terrible, terrible development. I’m glad for the people who got out, but who got out? The reporter that did nothing wrong and a pastor. What the hell did they arrest him for?
JK: At the end of the day, this is a sad chapter in the foreign policy history of the United States.
HH: Last question, Governor Kasich. Today, the United States Supreme Court accepted certiorari on the executive order concerning immigration and they asked the parties, I’ve actually never seen this in my 20 years of teaching Con Law to brief the “take care that the laws are faithfully executed” clause. What message is the Court sending to President Obama and to presidential candidates by that action?
JK: I think what they’re saying, Hugh, is that you’re president and you’re not king and you can’t just go around making all these laws when you get spited by the Congress. Learn to get along with them, learn to work with them, and you just can’t abuse executive power s to make laws that you don’t have the authority to do and so I think it’s great that the court is saying this for the long-term benefit of the United States.
HH: Do you expect that will get more than the five votes that I’m almost certain they’ve got given past arguments of the courts in Citizens United.
JK: I hope so. You’re more of a student of the Court than I am, but I sure hope so, and I would suspect so.
HH: Governor John Kasich, great to talk to you.
JK: Thank you.
HH: Thanks for you calling in. Back to the trail with him.
End of Interview