Kasich Edges Closer To Presidential Run With Trip To Iowa

JOhn KasichOhio Gov. John Kasich (R) moved closer to a presidential run in an interview Friday, saying “amateur hour is over” if he enters the race.

Kasich said he would tout his experience in Congress and as a governor.

“It’s experience and record. Amateur hour is over,” Kasich told CBN News’ “The Brady File” in an interview. He said he helped turn around the Ohio economy.

“We have come back almost from the dead,” Kasich said.  “If you have the experience and you have the record, it’s not about ‘tell me.’ It’s about ‘show me.’ ”

Kasich has bucked typical Republican talking points on expanding Medicaid in Ohio and has pushed his party to find health care alternatives to the Affordable Care Act. But he has called for further reforms and bluntly said Obamacare hasn’t worked well in his state and has driven up the cost of insurance.

He has tried to raise cigarette taxes. Working poor should have more access to primary care doctors to prevent higher bills at the emergency room, he said.

On illegal immigration, Kasich doesn’t favor a path to citizenship, but is unwilling to take the option off the table. He takes a moral approach to imprisonment of mentally ill individuals and calls for more rehabilitation programs for prisoners with substantial abuse issues.

Kasich also takes a less than favorable view on nation building, and instead looks to maintain a strong domestic economy to avoid weakness on national security. Yet he isn’t afraid to close military bases or reform the Pentagon.

He touts the Ohio business climate under his tenure in which there has been a movement toward privatized economic development that has led to better revenue growth. He is hopeful the state can shift to a more consumption-based tax model to lower income taxes.

Kasich has hired John Weaver, who previously managed the maverick presidential campaigns of Sen. John McCain and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, for his 2016 effort. That is surely a sign that Kasich wants to run a campaign that will run afoul of current Republican orthodoxy. And he probably won’t win the nomination. But if he makes any headway in steering his party toward a more moderate path, Kasich’s campaign will have to be considered a success.

The Ohio governor will be making his first trip to Iowa since he began exploring whether to enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Kasich has yet to officially announce his decision on the 2016 presidential race.

He recently was in South Carolina, Michigan and New Hampshire. Kasich’s trip to Iowa on Wednesday will have him making several stops in Des Moines and Council Bluffs.

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