Ohio Gov. John Kasich jumped into the presidential race in mid-July, and has steadily improved his standing in the polls with each passing week thanks to inspired campaigning and solid debate performances.
Kasich continues to make his case to the American people, and we've gathered below 12 reasons why he would make a good president.
1. He is a two-term governor
— In 2010, Kasich unseated incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland. The battle was a tough one, however he prevailed, turning the state red. When Democrat Ed FitzGerald challenged him in 2014, Kasich trounced him by a margin of 31 percent, winning all but two counties in the state. Clearly, Kasich knows how to run a successful campaign — and hold on to his seat.
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2. He has served in Congress
— Gov. Kasich is one the only presidential candidate with both executive and legislative experience, having served nine terms as the U.S. Congressman from Ohio's 12th district from 1983 to 2001. He understands thoroughly the relationship of power between the states and the federal government.
3. He has private sector experience
— Between his tenure in Congress and winning the Ohio governorship, Kasich was employed as the managing director of Lehman Brothers' office in Columbus from 2001 to 2008. His experience in investment banking means he's no career politician, and is deeply knowledgeable about what makes for a healthy economy. To boot, Kasich served for six years as chairman of the House Budget Committee. "Too many politicians worry about getting elected as they do their job — if they worried more about doing their job they'd get elected," he told CNN in February
4. He refuses to bash fellow Republicans
— Throughout his presidential campaign, Kasich has taken the high road, campaigning on his extensive credentials, not tearing down those in his own party. "I’m not going to sit here and criticize Donald Trump. That’s not for me to do," he said during the second Republican primary debate. "Isn’t it better to judge me on what I say, and not what I say about someone else?"
5. He understands the military
— His 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee has made Kasich a true military hawk. During a foreign policy speech in July, he outlined his world view, saying of Ukraine, for example, "For the United States not to be giving them the weapons they need to defend themselves is a terrible mistake and it frankly borders on outrage." On the Islamic State (ISIS), he said we must "begin to destroy" their hold in Iraq and Syria, The Columbus Dispatch reported
6. He has empathy for the poor
— Kasich has a moderate position on healthcare, having expanded Medicaid coverage to approximately 275,000 residents in Ohio under the Affordable Care Act. "First of all, I don't support Obamacare; I want to repeal it," Kasich said in an interview with Jake Tapper in May
, explaining his position. "But I did expand Medicaid because I was able to bring Ohio money back home to treat the mentally ill, the drug addicted and help the working poor get health care . . . Ronald Reagan expanded Medicaid, Jake, expanding Medicaid is a separate issue."
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7. He has governed a swing-state
— Kasich knows how to speak to both conservatives and moderates across the country, and this not only helped him win his gubernatorial reelection by a landslide, but it has also helped him create coalitions to get things done in office. In Ohio, he's expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, supports Common Core, and says he'll consider a pathway to citizenship — not amnesty — for illegal immigrants.
8. He is a former commentator on Fox News
— Unlike so many out-of-touch politicians, Kasich understands the media. From 2001 to 2007, he hosted "Heartland with John Kasich" on the Fox News Channel. Notably, the show was filmed in Columbus, Ohio, not the establishment media bastions of New York or Washington D.C.
9. He has passed welfare reform
— As a member of Congress, Kasich was instrumental in getting welfare reform passed under President Bill Clinton, having proposed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996. Just this year, Kasich added a major welfare-to-work initiative to his state's budget plan.
10. He opposes Obama's Iran deal
— "I think it’s a bad agreement. I would never have done it," Kasich said at Wednesday night's second Republican primary debate. "Nobody’s trusting Iran. They violate the deal, we put on the sanctions."
11. He has passed a balanced budget
— Politifact.com reported that Kasich has been a strong proponent
of balanced budgets throughout his political career. "He backed a balanced budget amendment when Republicans were in the minority, and he was a leading voice for the measure when a GOP wave put his party in charge of the House under Newt Gingrich in 1994," the website wrote. "Kasich has a long track record of pushing for a balanced budget, and contemporary accounts from 1997 place him very much at the center of the action."
12. He has a record as a pro-life politician
— "In his six years in office, Kasich has signed every piece of anti-abortion legislation to cross his desk," reported Mother Jones
. "And far from just rubber-stamping new abortion rules, Kasich has been more aggressive than any other governor in the Republican race in wielding the power of his office to run abortion providers out of business."
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