Jul 23, 2015 11:47 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
WOLFEBORO – With 16 candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination, it’s not always easy to stand out.
But one of those 16 candidates says he harbors no concerns.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who’s well known for his direct style of speaking, which some people describe as blunt, told NH1 News on Thursday that “I don’t really worry about standing out. It’s not my problem.”
“I always kind of stand out, sometimes maybe more than I should,” Kasich added as he chuckled.
Kasich made his comments Thursday afternoon, speaking one-on-one-with NH1News minutes before holding a town hall along the shores of Lake Winnipesauke.
After the event, Kasich hurried to Mitt Romney lake front home, for a private lunch with the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee. Asked about the meeting, Kasich said
“He invited me and I’m thrilled to go. I like him and of course who doesn’t love his wife, and I get to see his house and I’m just going to go and have a nice time. I’m not going to seek any endorsement or anything. I’m just going to have lunch with the guy and spend a little time with the two of them,”
Asked if he’s hoping for any advice, Kasich said “I’m always open to good advice and of course he would have a bunch of stuff he’s probably going to say. But he’s not a guy who’s going to lean on you either. It’s just getting to know someone, and I know him. I traveled with him and helped him a lot in Ohio, and I’m just glad to see him. Great to be at Lake Winnipesaukee. We talk about it all the time. Every time we fly out, I look down, even if we see a swimming pool, I tell the staff, I say ‘hey look, look down there. That’s Lake Winnipesaukee, so I’m finally here.”
The Wolfeboro town hall was the second to last stop for Kasich during a jam-packed three-day swing through the first-in-the-nation primary state. Kasich arrived in New Hampshire on Tuesday, hours after launching his GOP nomination bid at The Ohio State University.
It also came one day after Kasich authorized arming national guard personnel at military recruitment stations. Ohio's one of less than a dozen states that have made similar moves in the wake of the killings of four marines. Asked if other governors should follow suit, Kasich said “everybody’s got to decide for themselves. I can’t tell other governors what to do. They’re governors and they’ll figure it out. They’ve got to do what they’re comfortable with. But for me, I just think it’s important. But look, we’re going to have to train some people here. This just doesn’t happen overnight, but I’ve told them we’ve got to move quickly.”
Earlier this week the Club for Growth, a DC backed fiscal conservative group, was critical of Kasich’s 2013 decision to expand Medicaid, Kasich responded ‘I don’t know where they get their numbers. Look, our Medicaid growth rate is less than four percent and it’s some of the lowest in the country, without taking anybody off the rolls or cutting benefits. And the benefit has been that drug addicted are getting treated, and if there’s anything we understand in New Hampshire now is you can lock them all up. You’ve got to treat them and we’re beginning to do that in Ohio, with good results. We also don’t’ think that the mentally ill ought to be in prison and the work poor spend all their lives in emergency rooms where we all have to pay for their bills.”
“So I think this was a very good approach and everybody can have an opinion but I’m sure glad we did it and you know what’s interesting is that most people moving in that direction. Now in regard to Medicaid it needs to be reformed. It really needs to be sent back to the states so the states can deal with their individual problems and not a one-size fits all mentality. We’ve been able to manage this. We’re running a $2 billion surplus. We’ve cut $5 billion in taxes and we’re up 350,000 jobs, so maybe I’ll send a note to the Club for Growth so they can see what we’re doing,” Walker added.
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