Another Republican plans to run for president, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is the latest looking to join the already crowded 2016 field looking to win the Republican presidential nomination. Kasich appeared on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday, May 24, 2015 where he told Jonathan Karl he is “getting closer” to deciding on a run, in what could be seen as very much a declaration of his candidacy. Last week on May 17 a source close to the governor leaked that Kasich is “virtually certain” to run.
Despite very low rankings in the national polls, the Ohio Governor made it clear he was not running just to be offered the vice presidency, saying, “Forget it, Jon. I don’t play for second.” Kasich, who has begun travelling and campaigning in the early primary states is “very optimistic.”
In what could be perceived as almost an official announcement confirming his intention to run the Ohio governor expressed, “We’re getting closer [to an official announcement] We have metrics set internally. I am very pleased with what we have seen over the course of the last month. I’ve been very pleased with what I found out on the ground in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Michigan. … Within a period of time, I will make a decision and if we meet our metrics, I’m going to move forward. I have to tell you that I’m increasingly optimistic about all of this.”
Kasich is planning to set himself apart from the rest of the GOP field because of his “deep experience” both executive and legislative. Kasich was a representative in Congress for Ohio’s 12th congressional district from 1983 to 2001, and served as chairman of the House Budget Committee. Kasich has also been the governor of Ohio since 2011. In his reelection this past November Kasich won in a “landslide” with 64 percent of the vote, winning every county in the state except two. As Kasich pointed out, “I’m pretty qualified for this kind of a job.”
Selling himself, Kasich extolled his resume, “I’m the most experienced in the field with being an executive, running a big state like Ohio, dealing with problems like Cleveland. At the same time being in Congress, [balancing] the budget. I was the chairman and also serving on the Defense Committee for 18 years.”
The Ohio governor stressed that experience is vital, “[W]e need somebody who has deep experience, executive experience who has made decisions where there is a bottom line who has a deep knowledge of foreign affairs, because it’s pretty clear that America’s position in the world is being questioned and it leaves us less secure at home.”
This would not be Kasich’s first foray running for the Republican presidential nomination, he did so in 2000 only as a Congressman, running against another frontrunner named Bush, George W. Bush who eventually won. Now Kasich would be running as a strong governor, but again against a frontrunner named Bush, brother Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor. Kasich’s positions on healthcare and education have angered conservative bonafides. As Governor Kasich expanded the Medicaid program through Obamacare, and he supports Common Core education standards.
Kasich plans to make his official announcement towards the end of June beginning or July. For now, he will continue his tour campaign in early primary states. This upcoming week he will travel to Georgia and South Carolina, the first primary state in the South, and will visit New Hampshire in the beginning of June.
Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.