Kasich says he’s not using ‘hot rhetoric’ for support

Published 11:54 am Monday, July 27, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) — Ohio’s governor says he isn’t going to use “hot rhetoric” or campaign promises that won’t be kept as he tries to move up in the crowded GOP field.

John Kasich, who officially launched his presidential campaign last week in Columbus, also isn’t following other candidates who have trained their sights on early poll leader Donald Trump.

“I didn’t get out of Ohio to do this for a long time. So my poll numbers are not great, OK?” Kasich said in an interview shown Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “So I’ve got to talk about me … let’s let everybody else weigh in.”

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The second-term governor and former congressman, who campaigned in Michigan on Saturday, is pointing to experience and capability, saying he’s “a problem-solver” who’s brought state government reforms and economic progress to his home swing state.

Ohio Democratic Party leaders have said that Kasich’s economic policies benefit the wealthiest Ohioans and have hurt local governments and schools.

Kasich said in the interview that candidates don’t keep their campaign promises when they run for president.

“And the reason is they make promises that are ridiculous,” Kasich said. “They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Kasich said candidates who promise to immediately rip up the Barack Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran are “just playing to a crowd.” But he is critical of the deal and wants to keep economic pressure on Iran.

With the first debate of the Republican presidential campaign fast approaching, White House hopefuls are jockeying to improve their polling. A candidate needs to place in the top 10 in an average of national polls to meet the criteria Fox News Channel has set to take the stage Aug. 6 in Cleveland.

Recent polls indicate Kasich’s position is improving.

“It’s about capability,” Kasich said. “And part of capability is electability.” But he said it’s not only about getting elected.

“We’re not running for class president. We’re running to be the commander in chief and the leader of the United States of America. Grow up!”