The political scene today is absolutely dominated with names like Trump, Clinton, Cruz and Sanders. With all the front-runners battling it out, it’s easy to forget there are more names in this race.
John Kasich is a Republican presidential nominee from Ohio. In fact, he’s the governor of the state. He and his wife Karen have 16-year old twin daughters, Emma and Reese.
As Kasich’s website, www.johnkasich.com, states: “Husband, father, friend, person of faith, leader, change agent. . . John Kasich is a lot of things. Through them all runs his honest, direct, authentic, tenacious approach to life that has allowed him, time and again, to do what they said couldn’t be done and, as his mom told him as a boy, ‘make things a little better because you were there.’”
Kasich was also chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee, where he made the first successful effort to balance the federal budget since the moon landing. Kasich has even pushed for a constitutional amendment dedicated to balancing the federal budget.
Kasich’s platform covers most of the issues the other candidates discuss and debate about, the major ones being abortion, second amendment rights, balancing the federal budget, national security and the war on ISIS, health care and job creation.
Kasich claims to be a “strong, consistent and committed believer in the sanctity of human life.” While governor of Ohio, he has instituted bans on late-term abortions and elective abortions in hospitals.
As president, Kasich seeks to stop federal and taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. He has also not only suggested but also pushed adoption as an alternative. He seeks to make adoption “easier, less bureaucratic, and more affordable.”
Kasich provided state funding for rape crisis centers in Ohio and set up counseling services to pregnant women and a program that helps meet other needs of new mothers.
The Second Amendment
Kasich currently has an “A” rating with the National Rifle Association, up from an “F” in 1994 when he supported President Clinton’s assault weapons ban. In an interview with Fox News, Kasich explained this change.
“That was an assault weapon ban," he said. "I'm a Second Amendment advocate. I don't believe the government should be taking guns from people. I think people have a right to be armed. It's about keeping the Second Amendment and it's allowing legitimate gun owners to be able to do what they want, which is exercise their constitutional right. So people don't need to worry about that.”
Kasich described the 1994 ban as “superfluous” and “a law that had no impact.”
Kasich’s website describes some of his previous action regarding the right to bear arms.
“John Kasich enacted legislation protecting Ohio’s concealed carry laws, including protecting the privacy of permit holders and allowing for reciprocity licenses with other states where permit holders can carry their firearms,” the website said.
Kasich also openly opposes President Obama’s gun control efforts.
“(Obama’s) efforts to expand the federal government’s interference with Americans’ Right to Keep and Bear Arms are wrong and the governor opposes them,” says Kasich’s website.
Balancing the Budget
As mentioned earlier, Kasich is a supporter of a new constitutional amendment that focuses on balancing the federal budget. In addition to that, Kasich worked to increase the “rainy day” fund for the state of Ohio. The fund at one time boasted a paltry amount of a total 89 cents. As of July 2015, that fund was over $2 billion. The fund was down from Governor Ted Strickland’s tapping it to balance the state’s 2010-2011 budget. Kasich made it a priority to budget money to put back in the fund, which exists to give the state a cushion in the event of an economic downturn.
Kasich has a history of tax cuts in his home state, including cutting what he labeled “the death tax,” which is a high estate tax that affects the 7 percent of estates in Ohio that have a total value of over $338,333.
“Kill the death tax,” Kasich told WSYX news in 2009. “You know the death tax, all these people who are successful, they’re moving to Florida. Florida doesn’t have a death tax. So we’ve got to get rid of that so the entrepreneurs, the job creators, stay."
National Security and the War on ISIS
Kasich has a very clear opinion on terrorists like those that attacked the French capital of Paris on November 13 of last year:
“There is no negotiating with this kind of darkness—we must overcome it," his website states. "Unless we get serious about defeating the evil we witnessed in Paris, we leave the door open to similar attacks in our own cities."
Kasich pushes for a mutual defense action strategy with NATO. This strategy may include creating safe havens and no-fly zones, further supporting the Kurdish military, a NATO and regional coalition of ground troops and a harder fight in the idea war against ISIS.
Kasich also wishes for America to take a firmer stand against Russia and China.
Kasich’s website outlines his plan: “The U.S. must work together with our European allies to strengthen new NATO member states on the front lines with Russia, such as Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, by supplying them, repositioning existing U.S. forces onto their eastern borders supported by a new, strong integrated air defense system there, and jointly committing to higher defense spending targets. We must also help ensure a free Ukraine by training and arming Ukrainian forces with the weapons they have requested and which Congress has approved.”
It goes on to talk about China/U.S. action plans: “In order to stand by our allies who feel threatened by China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea, the U.S. must work with regional allies to significantly increase our military presence in region and ensure freedom of navigation for the $5.3 trillion in annual trade that passes through the Western Pacific. We must help Japan defend its territorial waters with advanced seabed acoustic sensors, anti-ship missiles and other defensive equipment. We must also forward deploy our Pacific combat commander to Guam and station additional Air Force and Marines Corps units in the Western Pacific where they can conduct regular joint regional amphibious landing exercises.”
Kasich wishes to increase funding to the military, and has pushed for $102 billion to be spent on defense over the next eight years. He also pushes to renew relations with allies with weakened ties to the U.S.
Kasich’s bottom line is as follows: “America has wavered in its resolve to stand up for what it believes. Into this vacuum extremism has spread and our nation-state opponents have pursued their own interests at the expense of ours and our allies. We must choose to lead once again, which requires us to rebuild the tools of leadership—our military and the force-multiplying relationships with the allies who share our basic values. Then, we must act decisively to advance our national interests and proclaim our fundamental values in order to sustainably secure global stability by winning the war of ideas.”
Health Care Reform
“John Kasich believes Obamacare must be repealed and replaced with efforts that instead improve access by actually lowering health care costs without interfering with Americans’ personal health care decisions or imposing punishing burdens on job creators,” states Kasich’s website.
Kasich pushes for a primary care system that pushes for healthy living to avoid sickness rather than simply treating illness when it occurs. He believes that this saves money and will reduce relative policy costs.
Kasich also wishes to design a system that has all practitioners and insurance providers working together to lower costs, rather than just having policy holders pay on a episodic basis.
“In a joint replacement, for example, surgeons, anesthesiologists, hospitals, device manufacturers, rehabilitation therapists, and drug makers all have separate roles and little incentive to worry about each other’s costs. Instead, what if the surgeon earned more for meeting high quality standards while also better managing the entire procedure in order to produce lower costs?” asks Kasich’s website.
In Ohio, Kasich spearheaded JobsOhio, a non-profit organization that seeks to create professional jobs for the state. Kasich touts this, as well as his time as chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee, as experience in creating jobs and cutting taxes.
“Understanding that a more competitive tax environment is essential to job creation, Gov. John Kasich teamed up with Ohio’s legislature to cut taxes by $5 billion since 2011—the largest tax cut of any sitting governor,” his website says.
Redstate.com accuses Kasich of actually hating his own party, citing the CNBC-sponsored Republican debate that most candidates, including Republican nominee Ted Cruz, thought was an utter debacle.
“For all that people criticize Jeb Bush, Kasich is far and away the candidate in this field who is just utterly clueless about the Republican electorate as a whole,” wrote Leon H. Wolf on the site. “Worse, to the extent that Kasich does understand Republicans, he dislikes them.”
Wolf added, “In fact, part of the structural problem that made the debate a 'crap sandwich' to begin with is that the CNBC moderators allowed Kasich – who was in last place among those on stage – the first question and gave him the opportunity to filibuster at length about how stupid Republican voters (and the other Republican candidates were). While the rest of America sat horrified at the ridiculous irrelevant gotcha questions that were clearly designed to make all Republicans look bad and crazy, Kasich thought to himself, ‘this is my kind of debate! Finally America is going to get to see how crazy all these Republicans are!’”
Kasich has also generated controversy over not being quite as conservative as his fellow Republicans. According to the New York Times, Kasich’s views on immigration weren’t without their controversy. Kasich said that he was open to considering immigration reform plans put forth by President Obama.
Final WordsAlthough Kasich is down in polls, winning only 144 delegates to Donald Trump’s 749, he hasn’t dropped out yet. He still pushes for his nomination and still pushes his platform. As the fateful primaries continue on, we’ll see how sturdy his platform truly is.