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Ohio Gov. John Kasich at Politics and Eggs at St. Anselm College in March

Apr 22, 2015 9:35 PM

Steinhauser: Ohio Gov. Kasich's vow to NH - "I'll be back"

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD – Doing his best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression, John Kasich says “I’ll be back.”

And by “back,” the Ohio governor, who’s seriously considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination, was referring to returning to New Hampshire.

“You can count on me coming back soon. And I want you to know, I enjoy it. I enjoy all the time I spend there,” Kasich said in an interview with NH1 News.

Kasich’s already made two visits to the first-in-the-nation primary state this year. He was in Nashua over the weekend, joining nearly 20 other GOP presidential candidates and probable contenders at a New Hampshire GOP Leadership Summit. And he was in the Granite State in late March, his first visit since he briefly ran for president in the 2000 election cycle.

Kasich’s Wednesday interview came two days after he took a major step towards launching a presidential campaign. On Monday Kasich launched a 527 political committee, which was first reported by NH1 News.

Asked what will be the major factors in making a final decision on running for the White House, Kasich said the big question is “will I have the resources to be able to compete? I don’t think I need as many resources as we hear about. Can I get the resources, and secondly, can it work? And you can only know that by being out there and trying. Seeing what people say.”

“I don’t want to try this to put a square peg in a round hole. It’s either it’s going to work or it isn’t and resources are a big part of it,” he added.

Kasich said New Hampshire – with its emphasis on retail politics - is a great equalizer which helps candidates with low name recognition and smaller resources, like himself, compete against the candidates with high name ID and big war chests.

“The beauty of New Hampshire is that people want to get to know you. Just because you have a name doesn’t mean you’ll do well. And if you don’t have a name it doesn’t mean you can’t do well,” Kasich said. “It’s a place where you can tell people what you think, and I just think it’s ideal. That’s what makes New Hampshire special. The ability to kind of get launched. I think it’s a big deal.”

Kasich, who was re-elected in a landslide last November to a second term as Ohio governor, served 18 years in Congress earlier in his career. And one of the people he served with, former Sen. John E. Sununu of New Hampshire, has signed up to serve as a director for Kasich’s new political group, which is called New Day for America. Sununu told NH1 on Monday that if Kasich does end up launching a presidential campaign, he’ll endorse him.

Kasich praised Sununu, saying “I love John. He and I worked together when we were both in the House of Representatives. I’ve always said that there’s no one smarter than him that I worked with in the Congress. He’s a great guy. We’re pals. Any time I can have him it makes me better, because he’s a class act and he’s a son of New Hampshire”


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