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Jan 18, 2016 3:37 PM

Steinhauser: Kasich touts NH ground game, endorsements in Plymouth

NH1 News Political Director

PLYMOUTH – John Kasich touts that he has “the best ground game that New Hampshire has seen in modern times."

The Republican governor of Ohio, talking one-on-one Monday morning with NH1 News, predicted that if he finishes well in New Hampshire’s Feb. 9 primary, he’ll be “ready to roll everywhere.”

Kasich also added that when it comes to his plans to reform entitlements, “the upper income Social Security recipients are going to get less Social Security.”

Kasich spoke with NH1 News as he stepped of his campaign bus in Plymouth, where he was headlining a conversation with community leaders and students about drug abuse at the Plymouth Communities for Alcohol and Drug Fee Youth.

Kasich was greet by some 50 volunteers Sunday night at Concord airport as he arrived back in the first-in-the-nation primary state accompanied by his wife and two teenage daughters. Monday morning, with the snow falling, Kasich and his family pulled up to the Plymouth CADY headquarters on board his campaign bus.

Kasich then spoke one-on-one with NH1 News outside his bus, with the snow falling and temperatures in the low 20’s.

The Ohio governor said “we love the snow. Are you kidding me.”

“We were up in Dixville Notch. What a cool thing. Being up there. It was snowing,” Kasich added, talking about his Saturday trip up to the North Country.

Asked about his outreach efforts when it comes to New Hampshire’s crucial independent voters, Kasich said “we look for everybody that can vote.”

And he pushed back on this reporter’s description of the standings in the poll, saying And we’re not tied, we’re in second place, which is really great.”

Kasich was also giddy over his endorsements this past weekend in the Nashua Telegraph, Portsmouth Herald and Foster’s Daily Democrat, joking that “I was a little disappointed cause we only got three newspaper endorsements within 24 hours. No, just kidding. It was great.”

Kasich then talked up his campaign’s grassroots outreach efforts in the Granite State, saying “I maintain that we have the best ground game that New Hampshire has seen in modern times. When you combine the great people of New Hampshire with the people who are coming in here, riding buses here, they’re flying in. It’s unbelievable. And then we have people sleeping in the campaign headquarters on mattresses heating their food with hotplates. I think it’s never been seen before.”

Kasich then yelled over to one of his top advisers in New Hampshire, former state Attorney General Tom Rath, who was standing nearby.

“Is that right Rath. Best ground game in modern time. Best ground game in modern time,” Kasich declared.

While Kasich’s been spending most of his time campaigning in the Granite State, he said he’s well positioned if he does well in the February 9 primary.

Asked where he could perform well after New Hampshire, he said “South Carolina. And then Nevada, and the south, then the Midwest. I mean we’re really ready to roll everywhere.”

Kasich making some news at an NH1 News "Fiscal Friday" forum by predicting lower Social Security benefits, an telling a voter in the audience that "OK, you’d get over it."

Asked Monday about specifics on what he's proposing, Kasich said "we’re working through the numbers. Look I had a whole plan 16 years ago and it was ignored. We believe that the upper income Social Security recipients are going to get less Social Security. They won’t get none. But they’ll get less. So the ones who don’t have the income will be able to get their full benefit. We’ll work through the numbers. I mean this doesn’t get done overnight. But we never shy away from what we can do to fix something."

Watch the entire interview with John Kasich

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