Oct 13, 2015 8:51 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
BOW – Ohio Gov. John Kasich says that when it comes to fighting substance abuse, “there are things that absolutely work, but it’s a tough battle.”
In a one-on-one interview with NH1 News aboard his campaign bus, the Republican presidential candidate also took some subtle shots at his GOP nomination rivals, saying that “I don’t like when people propose things that are just baloney.”
And Kasich, speaking with NH1 News a couple of hours after Jeb Bush Tuesday unveiled his health care plan, said that often such
“one-off, knock-off plans” are quickly forgotten.
Kasich sat down for the interview following a town hall in Bow, where he discussed New Hampshire’s heroin epidemic. Asked by NH1 News what he’s learned as he’s battled substance abuse in Ohio, Kasich said “what I’ve learned is there’s no easy fix. We’ve been working on it for five years and every time you think you might have something cornered, something else happens.”
“We’re busting drug dealers. We are running programs in the schools warning kids which is what we all need to do. I mean we don’t do it enough. If you’re walking down the street and you see a kid, there’d be nothing wrong with you saying to that kid hey kid don’t do drugs because if you do you could die, or ruin your life. I mean even if you don’t know him. We have to commit ourselves to strong messages to our young people,” Kasich added.
After outlining his state’s rehabilitation efforts and preventing over treatment of opioids, Kasich paused for a moment before adding that “it’s a tough, tough, battle, and I don’t think any of us who have not had an addiction can really understand what they go through, but it’s really hard.”
Kasich’s interview came two days before he unveils what’s being touted as a wide ranging fiscal and economic plan. While many other GOP White House contenders have released separate tax, entitlement reform, and health care plans, Kasich is wrapping his all together into one big package.
Asked why, he said “I think that in order to get this economy growing again, you’ve got to address many different pieces, from the fiscal problem, the tax problem, the regulatory problem, the fact that there’s too much centered in Washington, the issue with trade, I mean all these things combine to give you more economic growth.”
“Frankly I think these one-off, knock-off plans, they just get lost in the ether. I mean how do they all fit together. And look, we’re not going to have all these details, but you’re going to be able to see a number of things that we’re doing including dealing with entitlements, moving some power, money and influence out of Washington,” he added.
But Kasich admitted the proposals he releases on Thursday morning in Nashua are “not going to have all these details, but you’re going to be able to see a number of things that we’re doing including dealing with entitlements, moving some power, money and influence out of Washington.”
“You’re going to see a good framework and as time goes on you’ll see more and more specifics. You know we didn’t have a lot of time to put this all together,” he added.
Kasich doesn't like proposals 'that are just baloney'
Kasich also took issue with rivals such as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who’ve vowed not to touch entitlement programs.
“I don’t think that’s doable. You can’t possibly have any kind of fiscal success if you’re going to ignore the most rapidly growing parts of the budget. I mean it just doesn’t work,” he said.
“I don’t like when people propose things that are just baloney, where they can (offer) a chicken in every pot and all that other kind of stuff. I don’t go for that,” Kasich added.
That’s about as critical as Kasich gets right now when it comes to his nomination rivals. He’s so far managed to stay far from the sniping that has dominated the Republican race. But Kasich said that “I’m not telling you I’m not going to criticize somebody, but I’m always a lot comfortable talking about what I’m for.”
Kasich served nearly two decades in the House of Representatives, and for six of those years he was chairman of the budget committee. Last year he was overwhelming re-elected to a second term as Buckeye State governor. While he has one of the most extensive resumes of the 15 candidates running for the GOP nomination, he admits that it takes more than experience to win at this level.
“I think you have to have vision, and you’ve got to have personality and you have to have ideas,” he said.
Asked if he has personality, Kasich said “well it’s up to the people to decide. I will tell you this. I think we get a lot of conversions out of the town halls which is an indication. People sign up, say they want to help. I mean I think that’s really, really, good. I think you need to have vision, personality and issues, and if you can capture two out of three, according to a former great politician, which he’s probably right, you’re going to do pretty well.”
And he even though he’s far behind Trump in both New Hampshire and national polls right now, Kasich remains confident about his prospects, telling NH1 News that “I think I feel pretty good about the fact that I will be the nominee. If I’m not, then we’ll deal with it then.”
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