Ohio Gov. John Kasich is planning to jump into the presidential ring in an announcement with a July 21 announcement at his alma mater, Ohio State.
Kasich, 63, has been governor since 2011, and served in Congress for 18 years including as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He took at stab at a White House run in 2000, then went to work as a managing director at Lehman Brothers and as a Fox News commentator.
On Sunday, he told CBS’ Face the Nation that “the whole country needs more empathy,” not just his party.
“I think it’s been a disappearing value… if you’re developmentally disabled, we want you to be mainstreamed as much as possible. If you’re mentally ill, we want you to get your medication so you can stand and lead a good life,” Kasich said. “The same is true with rehabbing prisoners. We’ve been able to help people who are drug addicted to come out of prison and have only a 10 percent recidivism rate. That’s what unifies the country.”
“And you know, where people are losing here is a little bit of an erosion of the spirit. Does the American dream work? Do I have an opportunity to become something special? And I think that, if we in fact can convince people that everyone’s included, that everybody has an opportunity to rise, based on a growing economy, America’s stronger and not divided.”
The governor stressed it’s a conservative value to mind the Old and New Testaments and care for the poor and disadvantaged.
“There are divisions between rich and poor and black and white, and we can fix these things if everybody feels they have an opportunity to rise,” he said. “And that’s kind of my philosophy.”
On the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, Kasich said, “we need to take a deep breath.”
“Look, I believe in traditional marriage, but the Supreme Court has ruled, and it’s the law of the land, and we’ll abide by it. And I think everybody needs to take a deep breath to see how this evolves,” he said. “But I know this, I mean, religious institutions, religious entities, you know, like the Catholic Church, they need to be honored as well. And I think there’s an ability to strike a balance.”
Kasich had an explanation for his currently low poll numbers: “Because I came into this office to take care of our beloved Ohio. I didn’t travel outside the state… What I wanted to do was fix Ohio.”
“So we went from $8 billion in the hole to a $2 billion surplus to a balanced budget, the largest tax cuts in the country and growing 360,000 jobs with everyone having a chance. Now I can go out and tell my story. And hopefully, the polls will rise. We’ll see. I’ll do my best. That’s all I can do.”