Ohio Governor John Kasich joined me on my last afternoon program to talk state of the 2016 race. Come Monday my show shifts to the 6-9 AM slot EST, driving the East Coast (and early risers everywhere) to work. Today’s conversation with Governor Kasich:
HH: Joined now by Ohio Governor John Kasich. Governor, welcome, good to talk to you. President Obama just said that even countries used to carnival atmospheres in their own elections want sobriety in ours, and are disappointed. Do you agree with President Obama about this?
JK: Well, look, Hugh, I’m trying to do the best I can to let people know about my record of job creation and balancing budgets, and hope that we can have for our country. So I’m just doing what I need to do. And once in a while, when I hear things that I think are really, you know, way out there, then I’m going to comment on them. But I’m doing the best that I can do to let people know what my vision in, and that there’s hope for the country.
HH: So you do not believe the carnival atmosphere engulfs everybody?
JK: Well, I don’t think I’m engulfed by any carnival atmosphere at all. I’m just doing my thing. And I don’t feel like I’m in a carnival at all. I mean, it’s very serious stuff.
HH: Now Governor, Senator Cruz was on earlier this week, and he said unless you win eight states, you can’t get votes in the convention. Karl Rove came on yesterday and said that’s not what Rule 40B says. Even if it stays the same, you can vote for whomever you’re pledged to vote for. And after you’re unbound, you can vote for whoever. What’s your understanding of what the process is going to be like in Cleveland?
JK: I really don’t know that much about it, Hugh. I have a group of political people, and they work on things like conventions and process. And I really don’t get in the middle of it. So I’ve never even heard of this thing called Rule 40 or whatever it is until a couple of days ago. So I really, that’s something, you can get John Weaver, one of my strategists, or somebody on to talk about it.
HH: I want to talk to Weaver. I will do that. Then let me turn you to an issue. You’re going to be out in California campaigning before June 7th, right? You’re coming to my state. I’m going to have your name on my ballot in front of me. I won’t vote until the last day.
JK: I thought your state was Ohio?
HH: Well, that’s my home. My son’s middle name is Ohio, but my state where I vote…
JK: Then don’t be claiming somewhere else. Come on. No, I understand. Your temporary residence in California, I got it.
HH: Temporary residence. So is Arnold going to campaign with John Kasich in the Golden State?
JK: Probably. I mean, I haven’t asked him. I don’t know, but probably. He’s there. I mean, he’s a busy man. He’s all over the world, but probably. I mean, he came to Ohio to campaign with me.
HH: There are lots, yeah, there are a lot of districts which are very favorable to Arnold still, and I’m just curious if you’ve got a map of where in the Golden State you’re going to concentrate like you’re doing Western Pennsylvania, for example, and Maryland heavily. Do you have any ideas in California, yet?
JK: I don’t, but that’s what my team does. See, what they do is they put me on a bus. They figure out where I need to go, and they open the door on the bus, and I get up and I speak. And that’s what I do. I’m not a campaign manager, Hugh. I’m a candidate for president and a governor, you know, so I don’t, I have no idea about. I’m looking forward to going to California, because I love California. It’s a great place. And in terms of what I’m going to be doing and when I’m there, I’m not giving you many good answers today, Hugh…
HH: You’re not.
JK: …because all your questions are process-related, and I’m not a process guy.
HH: Then let me give you a substance one. When you get to California, you’re going to hear about AB1888, which is going to cut off Cal Grants to any religious college that has a policy of traditional Christian sexual morality, and they enforce it. Now I don’t want to, it’s not a pop quiz. Are you going to be ready to talk about that, because it’s an assault on the 1st Amendment, but of course, a lot of people want to believe that’s non-discrimination. Are you going to be ready to talk about that by the time you come to California?
JK: Yeah, once I study it. I’m just not familiar with all, what that’s all about. But of course, I’ll be willing to talk about it. You know, I’ve talked about religious freedom and all those other things, and I just have to find out what, you know, what it is and where it is. You know, I think religious institutions have a right to practice, they need to practice the values that they hold as part of their religion. So of course, I’ll be willing to talk about it.
HH: 30 seconds, Governor, are you still an optimist you can win a contested convention?
JK: Yeah, I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think that, Hugh. Why, look, I consistently beat Hillary Clinton, right, in every poll. And you know, I also have the experience in terms of national security experience and domestic experience and success. So absolutely, I think at a convention, delegates think who can win and who can lead, and I think in both categories, I rate strong. And now, I’m actually getting heard, so I can’t complain much about the media coverage, because now I’m starting to get it, and I’m grateful for it.
HH: Keep coming back, Ohio Governor John Kasich, always a pleasure.
End of interview.