Criticisms of Trump aside, Kasich insists he’s a conservative


The biggest news flash Ohio Gov. John Kasich gave a student-run symposium at Johns Hopkins University Monday was this: Despite others’ assertions and descriptions to the contrary, he is, in fact, a conservative.

Kasich has become a fixture on Sunday talk shows by bucking President Donald Trump, decrying hyper-partisanship and, at one point, hinting that he might run for office again one day as an independent.

But Kasich dismissed the characterizations of him by others, saying, “I’m not a moderate. I’m a conservative.”

RELATED: John Kasich to ‘Dreamers’: Come to Ohio

What does being a conservative mean to him? It means, he said, that he’s for “low taxes, common-sense regulations, helping people who can’t help themselves, (and) making sure we balance the budget.”

Even on gun control, where Kasich has called for gun-rights and gun-control advocates to “find some common ground,” Kasich’s record is clear.

Although he ran afoul of the National Rifle Association as a member of Congress by supporting the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons, he returned to the organization’s good graces in this decade by signing bills as Ohio’s governor that expanded the ability to carry a concealed weapon into bars, the Statehouse parking garage, colleges and day cares.

Having the two sides talk to each other is key to reaching some level of compromise, he said.

RELATED: Kasich says Roy Moore too ‘divisive’

“If you sit them down and there’s goodwill, it’s amazing what you can work out,” he said. If I were president, that’s what I would’ve done.”

Kasich was grilled by some of the Johns Hopkins students, including a few who questioned his decision to sign bills restricting abortion. “I’m pro-life,” he said, adding, “If people don’t agree with me on the issue, that’s OK; I respect them. It’s a very, very tough issue.”

He said he’s “always been a Republican,” in part because “I don’t like to stand in line. I don’t like rules. I don’t like any of that stuff. I like to freewheel it.”

RELATED: Kasich says community colleges do better job than colleges in preparing students for the workplace

Now, he said, he views his job as trying to pull the party in the right direction on issues such as the environment, trade and immigration.

“I’m concerned people just consume that which they agree with,” he said. “I’m concerned we have siloed ourselves, where we can’t listen to one another, where we may disagree on an issue, but we can’t hear one another.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Should this man be the next Speaker of the House?
Should this man be the next Speaker of the House?

With the 2018 midterm elections months away, experts are eyeing two scenarios for House Republicans: One: they lose the House majority. Two: They keep the majority, but it shrinks. For U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, the first scenario is a nightmare. The second could make him one of the most powerful people in Washington. Jordan, who saw his two endorsed GOP...
Big money, political muscle on display in payday lending clash
Big money, political muscle on display in payday lending clash

Payday lending stores dot the landscape of Ohio’s small towns, suburban strip malls and inner-city thoroughfares. To hear one side tell it, they give their customers — many with bad credit — much-needed access to quick money for emergencies and everyday expenses. To hear the other side tell it, they take advantage of the poor by charging...
Brown takes shot at Renacci in negative ad
Brown takes shot at Renacci in negative ad

THE AD: A 30-second television commercial for Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. WHERE TO SEE IT: State broadcast television and here  VIDEO: Unflattering images of Renacci. Then it concludes with Sherrod Brown chatting with industrial workers. SCRIPT: Voice of a narrator: The U.S. Congress. There’s 68 teachers, 15 farmers, four pilots, but...
Should people work for Medicaid? Here’s how to weigh in.
Should people work for Medicaid? Here’s how to weigh in.

The clock has started for the next round of public comment on Ohio’s proposal to create the state’s first ever work requirements associated with Medicaid. The new rules would add requirements to work or go to school at least 20 hours per week to remain eligible for benefits under the health insurance program for low-income Ohioans, which...
Recreational marijuana closer to Ohio ballot — but lots of work ahead
Recreational marijuana closer to Ohio ballot — but lots of work ahead

Legalized recreational marijuana is one small step closer to appearing on Ohio ballots in 2019. The Ohio Ballot Board certified a proposed constitutional amendment Thursday, according to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office. The amendment was previously certified earlier this month by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. Ohio Families for...
More Stories