NH1 News Debates


Jul 13, 2015 11:07 PM

Steinhauser: Kasich tells NH1 he has to be a little bit more careful

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

PORTSMOUTH – Is John Kasich toning it down a bit?

The Ohio governor and all-but-certain Republican presidential candidate, who’s known to be blunt, appeared to slightly tone it down on Monday, as he answered reporters’ questions following a tour of the Red Hook Brewery.

Responding to a question, Kasich said “I had a really great line but I’m giving those up for now.”

A few minutes later, in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News, when Kasich was asked if he’s checking his directness a bit, he said “you know if you’re thinking you’re going to run for president, you have to be just a little bit more careful.”

But Kasich seemed to reverse course, saying that “no you don’t put yourself in check. You want to be yourself and you want to have some fun. I mean if this process, if I go forward, turns out to be a visit to the dentist chair, well then it’s not going to be worth it. So I’ve got to enjoy myself and be myself and let people get to know me.”

Kasich says he’s just being himself.

“People are so like ‘God he’s so direct’ and all that. This is a mystery to me because if you ask me what color ketchup is I say red. I don’t say ‘I don’t know. What does the focus group say it is’,” he added. “I enjoy making observations and you know, I try to keep them positive.”

Kasich was cracking jokes throughout his tour of the brewery and the following question and answer session.

Answering a reporter’s question, Kasich said “I do believe we need a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget, and if I were president that would be a big priority if mine. It’s time to hold Washington accountable.”

Then he joked that “that’s a good line there Fred, did you get that one. It’s time to hold Washington accountable.”

Fred is famed media consultant Fred Davis, who’s worked on five presidential campaigns and produced some of the most notable political ads the past 15 years. Davis was hired by Kasich’s super PAC, New Day for America. Davis and a film crew were following Kasich during the two day Sunday-Monday Granite State swing. Also joining Kasich in Portsmouth was veteran campaign strategist John Weaver.

This is Kasich’s sixth trip this year to the first-in-the-nation primary state. He’s expected to announce his candidacy a week from Tuesday at The Ohio State University, before returning to New Hampshire. A strong finish in the Granite State is crucial to Kasich’s longshot bid for the GOP nomination.

While he’s near the bottom of the pack of the soon-to-be 17 Republican presidential candidates in the most recent polling, the outside groups backing his eminent presidential campaign combined raised nearly $12 million in the second quarter of the year.

Kasich has repeatedly said that he wouldn’t run unless he had the resources. Asked by NH1 News what he thought about the fundraising haul, Kasich said “I think it’s pretty good. It took us eight weeks. People have been spending a long time, a year, on this. I spent eight weeks, so I’m really pleased with what’s come in.

“You know I’ve raised it the old fashioned way. I ask and nobody gets a thing for it. And it’s pretty nice, it’s good. So I’m pretty happy with this first goal that we’ve met,” he added.

Kasich on Trump: ‘I have nothing to say about him’

Asked about Donald Trump’s recent controversial comments that many Mexican immigrants are killers, rapist and drug dealers, Kasich said “I don’t agree with it. No I don’t.”

But that’s all he would offer about Trump, adding “I don’t want to talk about Donald Trump. I have nothing to say about him.’

"I’m not interested at least at this point in time in trashing anyone,” he added.

Kasich went on to say that “my focus is not someone else. I get very limited time on television. So why do I want to spend that time talking about something else rather than talking about what I want to do.”

Kasich added that the country needs more unity, not more division.

“People say ‘how do you do that?’ I think we do it by remembering the foundational values of this country: Personal responsibility, resilience. The ability to fight back. Teamwork. Empathy so we care about each other. Family and faith. These are foundational values that we all have to grab on to in my opinion so we can lift this country. You know we need good leaders at the top but what we really need is the rebirth of citizenship. We need good leaders at the top but what we really need is a rebirth of citizenship and a rebirth of our spirit in this county. That to me is what matters the most,” Kasich concluded.


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