Government

Kasich Ready to Tell Ohio’s Story in Presidential Race

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – As Gov. John Kasich prepares to launch his presidential bid, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says his fellow Republican would be a “great candidate” and has a “story to tell” the country.

Kasich, who has been laying the groundwork for a presidential run for the past several months, tomorrow will formally announce his plans to seek the 2016 GOP nomination . The Mahoning County Republican Party is sponsoring a bus trip to Ohio State University in Columbus for the announcement.

Following the announcement, Kasich has scheduled a series of town hall events in New Hampshire through Thursday, followed by stops in South Carolina, Iowa and Michigan.

The governor would be “a great candidate” for president,” Portman, R-Ohio, told reporters Friday during a news conference following his tour of Youngstown Air Reserve Station. Both Republicans were elected in 2010 when GOP candidates rode a wave of voter discontent, sweeping federal and state offices nationwide.

Kasich would “be good for the party and good for the country. He’s got a story to tell and that’s about this great success we’ve had in Ohio,” Portman continued. “He inherited a mess, let’s be honest — $800 billion deficit and economy that was in terrible shape, way above the national average in unemployment, 48th in the country in job creation.”

Now Ohio is eighth in job creation, the state’s deficit has been closed without raising taxes “and now we have a $2 billion surplus so that’s a great story to tell,” Portman said. “The country needs to hear about that.”

A new video prepared by Kasich’s New Day for America committee tells much of the candidate’s story. Beginning with the questions of “what are we going to do about America” and how the country “ended up with 20 candidates for president,” Kasich says he’s the only one with experience with balancing the federal budget, turning “a major state from big deficits and high unemployment to prosperity” and addressing national security issues.

The YouTube video highlights Kasich’s experience as Ohio governor and in Congress, where he served on the House Armed Services Committee. Outside of government, the video points to Kasich’s experience in the “real world” as a commentator on the Fox News Channel and working in finance in Ohio.

“This film simply lays out the facts; there’s around 20 people running for president, but there’s only one person who has balanced the federal budget, who has worked on national security issues, and who has run and turned around a major state,” said Matt Carle, New Day for America executive director, in an email announcing the video.

“Who needs one more person running for president?” a woman asks in voice-over at one point during the video. “We do.”

Against a backdrop of other candidates shown in silhouette, a male voice questions whether voters should “roll the dice once more on someone without the right experience, choose from a dynasty because it’s their turn,” select “another dynamic speaker guaranteed to produce standing ovations … or can we find someone who actually has the right experience?”

The video does not mention that Kasich worked for was Lehman Brothers, the financial services firm widely blamed for triggering the financial crisis that led to the 2008 financial crisis that crippled the economy nationwide, including in Ohio. Kasich’s critics argue the rebound from the Great Recession was being more responsible for Ohio’s improved fortunes than his administration’s actions.

Among the national media outlets paying attention to Kasich’s impending campaign launch is USA Today. On its website Sunday, USA Today carried a 1,600-word article from the Cincinnati Enquirer, How John Kasich Could Win in 2016. Other outlets focusing on Kasich’s entry into the race include Bloomberg, which speculates that the timing of Kasich’s announcement could help him make the cut for the upcoming first GOP candidates’ debate next month, and CNN, which notes his political action committee is targeting New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, Politico is out this morning with another story about Kasich’s temper. This headline reads, “John Kasich’s anger management.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.