Editorial: John Kasich for the Republican nomination

  • Gov. John Kasich

  • Kasich

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
For months, each Republican candidate for president has told New Hampshire voters why he or she belongs in the White House. The one with the best record to support his case is John Kasich.

The Ohio governor began his career in public service in 1978, when he became a state senator at age 26. Four years later, he was elected to the first of his nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee and six years as chairman of the Budget Committee. In 2010, he was elected governor of Ohio and was re-elected four years later in a landslide.

The economic turnaround Ohio has experienced since Kasich took the reins should appeal to fiscal conservatives. The multi-billion-dollar budget hole he inherited is now a $2 billion surplus; his administration oversaw $5 billion in tax cuts; and his record on helping to create and retain jobs in Ohio – including 385,000 new private-sector jobs since 2011 – is impressive. He has also consistently shown his dedication to helping his state’s most vulnerable citizens through actions such as expanding Medicaid.

Kasich’s plan for his first 100 days in the White House is ambitious and should resonate with Republican voters who embrace conservative economic principles. He vows to put the nation on a path to a balanced budget and slash the size of the federal government by transferring resources back to the states “with fewer strings attached.” He promises to cut individual and business taxes, reform the tax code and launch a thorough review of the Internal Revenue Service.

On national security, Kasich is more alliance-builder than hawk. He believes that wiping out ISIS will require a NATO and regional coalition of ground troops, no-fly zones and support for the Kurdish military. He also believes, however, that the United States must reassert itself as a world power by standing up to the “expansionist agendas” of China and Russia.

Throughout his political career, Kasich has committed himself to many of the values that Republicans hold dear. But what really separates him from his New Hampshire primary opponents, other than his solid record as governor of Ohio, is his desire and ability to find common ground with politicians and voters of all stripes.

In this most contentious of election cycles, Kasich has fought to keep the discussion focused on the issues that really matter to the American people – all the American people. It would be a mistake, however, to assume that Kasich isn’t angry about where the nation is right now and where it’s headed.

When Monitor editors met with Kasich last year, he was tough and blunt, and had no interest in sparing anyone’s feelings. The difference between Kasich and some of his opponents, however, is that Kasich doesn’t use his bluntness as a campaign prop. He is an old-school, pragmatic leader of high character and decency who doesn’t want to waste valuable time – his or voters’ – by wallowing in the political muck of the moment.

If New Hampshire Republicans are sincere in their desire to regain control of the White House, they cannot vote for divisive candidates such as Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. They must put their full weight behind the candidate who gives them the best chance against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and that candidate is Kasich.

The quality of the national dialogue has taken a big hit recently, but a spirited general election contest between Clinton and Kasich would elevate the debate to a level we haven’t seen in a long time. It is for that reason that we wholeheartedly endorse John Kasich for the Republican nomination.