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2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign: John Kasich

John Kasich is currently serving as the 69th Governor of Ohio after winning Gubernatorial elections in 2010 and 2014, and he is seeking the Republican party's nomination for President for the 2016 election.

Kasich was born in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania suburb on May 13, 1952, and is a second generation American. He attended Ohio State University, where he studied politics and grew to admire President Nixon. Kasich penned a letter to Nixon which was delivered to the President, and Kasich was granted a short meeting with him in December 1970. The Ohio Legislative Service Commission hired Kasich immediately following his college graduation in 1974, and from 1975 - 1978 he worked as an administrative assistant to an Ohio state senator. In 1978 Kasich defeated the incumbent candidate and was elected to the Ohio state senate representing district 15. He remains the youngest person to have ever served in the Ohio state senate, being elected at age 26.

In 1982 John Kasich ran for Congress representing Ohio's 12th legislative district, which includes the state capital of Columbus. After easily winning the Republican primary, he defeated the incumbent Democratic Congressman by a margin of only three percent. Kasich continued to serve eight consecutive terms, winning at least 64% of the vote each election.

Kasich ran unopposed for the Republican nomination for the governorship of Ohio in 2010, and defeated the Democratic incumbent opponent. The Tea Party threw their support behind him in 2010, but after he voted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act during his first term, they pulled their support prior to the 2014 election. Kasich easily won re-election in 2014, and was declared the winner in 86 out of 88 counties in Ohio. Governor Kasich's administration was a financial success for Ohio, eliminating budget shortfalls and drastically increased the state's “rainy day fund.”

Differing from his Republican peers, during his time as Governor Kasich aknowledged that climate change is real, proposed raising taxes for companies that engage in fracking activities, and expanded environmental protections and regulations. Despite his record on the environment, Kasich is in favor of building the Keystone XL pipeline. While a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Kasich pushed for bans on same-sex marriage both on a Federal and state level. In 2011 Kasich put forth restrictive collective bargaining legislation which would have severely impeded state public worker's ability to strike and collectively bargain, but the bill was rejected by the public. During Kasich's tenure as governor public school funding dropped by approximately $500 million, while private/charter school funding increased by 27%. In February 2014 Governor Kasich signed into law a bill that cut 6 days from Ohio's early voting period, a move which was heavily ctiricized by voting rights activists as a blow to minorities specifically. This legislation has led to two law suits, alleging that Ohio's voting measures disproportionately inconvenience black, Latino, and young voters.

Breaking from the Republican pack, Kasich has stated that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act is “not going to happen,” and has expressed support for many provisions of the ACA. During his campaign for President in 2015, Kasich called for a path to legal citizenship for illegal immigrants, stating that he wouldn't deport millions of illegal immigrants because it is “not practical.” Kasich has expressed support for campaign finance reform.

On July 21, 2015, Kasich announced that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for President during the 2016 election. At the time of the announcement he had raised at least $12 million.

During his campaign Kasich pledged to establish an agency to push “Judeo-Christian values,” if elected, to win the “battle of ideas” with the Middle East. Kasich stated during a speech at the National Press Club that this agency would, “have a clear mandate to promote the core, Judeo-Christian, Western values that we and our friends and allies share - the values of human rights, the values of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association.” John Kasich told Jewish Insider “Of course I would visit Israel. They are a great ally,” when asked if a visit to Israel would be a priority should he win the election. In early 2016 he told reporters that he was considering a trip to Israel before the general election.

In a surprising turn of events, Kasich, who had consistently polled towards the bottom of the Republican field until this point, placed second behind Donald Trump in the New Hampshire primary on February 9, 2016. Kasich received 15.8% of the votes, and 3 delegates. Kasich scored his first victory in his home state of Ohio on March 15, 2016, beating Republican frontrunner Donald Trump by 11% and claiming 66 delegates. In hopes of stopping Donald Trump's presidential bid, Ted Cruz and fellow Republican candidate John Kasich joined forces in mid-April 2016, pledging to divide their efforts in different states to prevent Trump from gaining the magic number of delegates that will automatically give him the nomination at the Republican National Convention. Kasich and Cruz both suspended their campaigns after embarassing losses to Trump in New York and Indiana in early May.


U.S. - Israel Relationship

  • “If you don’t like what Israel is doing with some apartments, then go and tell them – if that’s what you don’t like. But don’t tell them in front of a bunch of cameras. You see, if I want to correct my children, I don’t do it in front of other people. And if I ever get close to that, they make it clear they don’t like it. [The same should apply] with the Israelis: you got a problem, you can tell them but tell them in private. If I have a problem with Netanyahu, I will talk to him privately. Why are they building more apartments? Because it’s land; it’s security. I would never, ever, ever jeopardize the security of that country. Never.”
    (Jewish Journal, February 3, 2016)
  • “... in Israel, we have no better ally in the world. No more criticizing them in public, we should support them.”
    (Fourth Republican Debate)
  • “An agreement should make us safer, not less safe, and I'm very concerned that this deal fails to do that. We should be particularly concerned about the security of Israel because it is our responsibility to be a partner for its safety.”
    (Bustle, July 22, 2015)
  • “You can't separate this U.S.-Israel relationship”
    (Bustle, July 22, 2015)
  • “I have been forever a very strong and emotional supporter of Israel”
    (Telegraph, March 3, 2015)
  • “Being the governor of a very big and important state, I wanted to lend my support [for Israel].”
    (Telegraph, March 3, 2015)
  • Kasich has visited Israel and attended meetings with AIPAC.

Iran

  • “If I were president of the United States right now, I'd be lining up our allies to say that, if one crossed 'T' or one dotted 'I' does not occur, they violate the agreement, we slap back on sanctions. We can slap on sanctions alone, on day one, but it's not gonna be anywhere near as effective. The president needs to be laying the groundwork right now for the ability to slap those sanctions back on worldwide... I would say this to you, Bret. Number one, if they violate it, we need to move against them. And number two, if we find out they're developing a nuclear weapon and we know how to get to it, we're gonna go take it out. That is what we have to do. We cannot let things get farther down the road, like we did with North Korea.”
    (Republican debate, January 28, 2016)
  • “You're going to rip it up and then what? Then what are you going to do when you rip it up? To just say that we're going to walk away - we've got to remember that we do have allies and we want to call on them to work with us and a lot of them are signing up to this. On day one I would get my best people and begin to analyze what they are doing. I don't want to presume to say that they have abided by everything. We want to make sure that we're careful about this, including the side agreements, including whether they are funding these terrorist groups, and including whether they have any violations.
    (NBC News, September 8, 2015)
  • “They’re going to have a nuke and a stronger economy. We need to leave the sanctions on. You need to squeeze Iran, but we’re giving them permission to develop things and also freeing up their economy so they can help groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.”
    (JPUpdates, August 18, 2015)
  • “An agreement should make us safer, not less safe, and I'm very concerned that this deal fails to do that.”
    (Bustle, July 22, 2015)
  • “The problem... with all of this is just listen to our Arab friends who say, 'Listen, if you give the Iranians all this cash by lifting the sanctions, they're going to fund Hamas.' They're going to fund Hezbollah, who is the enemy to the Arab nations that we have things in common with.”
    (Bustle, July 22, 2015)
  • “This is not an agreement that should be followed at this point. We shouldn’t go along with this.”
    (The Washington Post, April 22, 2015)
  • “The prime minister said it right; this is a bad deal. We ought to ratchet up the pressure on Iran instead of negotiating with that country's leaders”
    (Telegraph, March 3, 2015)

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

  • “I'm for Israel. Period. End of story. Give them the superiority they need. I don't think there's any silver bullet for peace. A two-state solution, if they can work it out amongst themselves, fine. But I'm not an optimist on permanent peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”
    (New York Daily News, April 12, 2016)

Key Staff & Advisors

  • Chris Schrimpf: Spokesperson
  • Fred Davis: Media Advisors
  • John Weaver: Senior Advisor
  • Matt Carle: 527 Group Executive Director
  • Paul Collins: New Hampshire State Director
  • Sarah Nelson: Independent Advisor

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