- By Jessica Wehrman Washington Bureau
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he is hoping that a group he’s convened to find solutions to gun violence in the state will be able to deliver something by the end of business next week to the Ohio General Assembly.
Kasich, in Washington, D.C. for a meeting of the National Governors Association, declined to lay out what the group is considering, but said they’ve reached agreements on four different issues. The governor’s office declined to disclose the members of the group, but Kasich said they are on both sides of the gun debate.
Kasich himself said he advocates complete background checks and “the need to have these large magazines” but acknowledged that the committee may go in a different direction. “One of the things I don’t want to do in this process is put my finger so much on the scale that the committee doesn’t have a chance to work,” he said.
He said he’s talked to House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and Senate President Larry Obhof as well as some members to say “this is not going to go away.”
“It’s apparent,” he said. “People are saying something has to be done. And I think that peole are saying do something. When people demand something over and over and over again politicians usually respond.”
Kasich talks debt, New Hampshire
Kasich also spent time in D.C. where he accepted the Concord Coalition’s “Economic Patriot” Award and led a panel discussion on the nation’s woes.
Kasich, who chaired the House Budget Committee the last time the federal government balanced the budget in 1997, didn’t sound particularly optimistic about the nation’s current spending path.
“The biggest problem with spending is it’s all theoretical and hypothetical,” he said. “Nobody cares.”
He said Republicans and Democrats alike have contributed to the ballooning debt, which he predicts will ultimately have a “dramatic impact” on our economic growth.
“They’re all in the game – all of them,” he said. “Spend money like there’s no tomorrow.”
He also visited the nation’s capital on the same day that Politico reported he was preparing to run for president in 2020. Kasich dismissed the report, saying he told his wife “pay no attention.”
Still, he was more coy at the Concord Coalition event, saying he’d urged Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to run as a Democrat and urging those running in the state to “be real…because the people in New Hampshire are really cool. They smell a fraud.”
“And by the way,” he said, to laughter. “I like New Hampshire a lot.”