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Oct 9, 2015 1:36 PM

Steinhauser: Kasich tells NH1 News he'll unveil economic plan next week; Democrats slam him over 'get over it' Social Security comment

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD – John Kasich will unveil his economic and fiscal plan next week, the Ohio governor announced on Friday.

The Republican presidential candidate made the news during the inaugural edition of Fiscal Fridays, which was co-hosted and moderated by NH1 News and broadcast live on WBIN-TV.

Asked by NH1 News what his first budget, if elected to the White House, would look like, Kasich said “we’re going to have a lot more to say about this next week. We’ll have really a comprehensive plan that will address not just the budget but taxes and energy and regulations.”

Later NH1 News learned that Kasich will unveil his plans next Thursday at a campaign event in Nashua.

The conversation at the forum turned to entitlements, and specifically Social Security."

"We can't balance a budget without entitlement reform, what are we kidding," Kasich said. "We have to address it or it will go bankrupt. Same thing with Medicare."

"How can people say, it's ridiculous. can't touch a program, what are they kidding," Kasich added, referring to GOP nomination rivals such as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump, who have resisted talk of entitlement reform.

Kasich also stood up and asked people in the audience at the Warren B. Rudman to raise their hands if they were far from receiving Social Security. He followed that up by asking them if they knew yet what their initial benefit would be.

“What if I told your initial Social Security benefit was going to be lower, to try to save the program? Would that drive you crazy? Oh, it would upset you?" Kasich said.

An audience member nodded yes.

"OK, you’d get over it. And you’re going to have to get," he added.

Kasich went on to say that his plans on Social Security, which are still being formulated, would see "some amount" of a reduction in initial benefits for those currently far from retirement age.

National and state Democratic groups quickly criticized Kasich for his “get over it” comment.

"There's over 300,000 people in New Hampshire who are on Social Security and for him to say 'oh they'll just get over it' when it comes to their assistance being cut, i think it's pretty outrageous," New Hampshire Democratic Chair Ray Buckley told NH1 News.

Later in the day Kasich pushed back against the criticism from Democrats, calling it "silly," and repeating what he said at the Fiscal Friday forum, that bipartisan changes are a must in order to save Social Security.

NH1 News is teaming up with First Budget, the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, and the Warren B. Rudman Center to question the candidates in the Fiscal Friday series.

Former Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland is the next presidential candidate to take part in Fiscal Fridays, next Friday, October 16.


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