Kasich Calls Presidential Campaign ‘Beyond Fiction’

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Gov. John R. Kasich says if a movie were proposed with this election’s plot, Hollywood wouldn’t accept it “because it’s beyond fiction.”

Kasich described the state of the presidential campaign following the ribbon cutting at the new Don’t Quit! fitness center at the Liberty schools complex.

But Kasich stopped there, declining to comment on The New York Times story over the weekend that revealed his rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump, reported a $916 million net loss in his 1995 federal income tax return that he may have used to avoid paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years.

The governor, who declined to attend the Republican National Convention held in Cleveland or endorse Trump, said he hadn’t read the Times story.

“I don’t have anything more to say about Trump. I’ve said everything there is to say,” he said. Kasich did say he would vote in the election “but as to what’s going to happenm I’m not sure what I’m doing yet.”

Over the weekend, the Trump campaign fired back, charging that the tax document was “illegally obtained” and further demonstrated that the Times, “like the establishment media in general, is an extension” of the presidential campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party and “their global special interests.”

The statement further portrayed Trump as a “highly skilled businessman” with a “fiduciary responsibility” to his business, family and employees to pay no more in taxes than he is required.

Clinton surrogate U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, pounced on the disclosures in the Times story and criticized Trump’s continued refusal to release his income tax returns, breaking decades of tradition for presidential candidates. From the story, the public learned how Trump “badly mismanaged” his business and subsequently “rigged the system” to avoid paying taxes, while at the same time not paying small business owners, workers and contractors, Ryan said.

“I’ve had a lot of my constituents fall on hard times, lose money or a job and get financially rocked during a down economy,” he said in a statement. “What this finding about Trump has confirmed is that the system is rigged in favor of the billionaire class. They get a soft landing and my constituents will spend the rest of their lives trying to recover.”

The Times report comes in the wake of what was widely viewed as a poor debate performance by Trump against Clinton compounded by an extended feud with a former Miss Universe winner, and on the eve of tonight’s presidential debate between their running mates, Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine.

Following last week’s debate, Clinton is enjoying a bump in polling, with several polls Monday showing the Democrat up anywhere from three to six points, though a Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll showed Trump ahead by five.

In addition, a Quinnipiac University poll showed Trump up by five points in Ohio, a state critical for the GOP. Last week, Pence made a stop last week in Leetonia and this week former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic nominee’s husband, is expected to make brief stops in the Mahoning Valley at some point today or tomorrow as part of a two-day bus tour.

More than 957,000 Ohio residents have already requested absentee ballots — about 35,000 more requests compared to the same point ahead of the 2012 presidential election, the office of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted reported Monday.

Absentee ballot applications must be received by county boards of elections by noon Nov. 5. They must be postmarked by Nov. 7, the day before the election, and arrive at the board of elections by Nov. 18.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.