Lest we forget, here’s what our Governor ominously warned Ohioans would happen if Issue 2 passed:
“If we don’t win this, the setback is how does Ohio get labeled in the minds of companies around this country. Is it a slow heavy labor state? Which tends to scare decision makers, CEOs. It’s just important we win this. I mean if we don’t win, it it’ll be a setback to economic growth.”– Gov. John Kasich to the Canton Repository editorial board on Sept. 9, 2011 (which would later endorse Issue 2.)
So, what did Governor Kasich spend most of yesterday doing? Well, apparently he went on a statewide “I am wrong about the economy and politics” Tour.
First, the Governor attended the announcement of 1,100 new jobs coming to the Toledo area thanks to a major expansion by Chrysler, which should have been an awkward event given how John Kasich in 2010 went around the nation opposing the bailout of Chrysler and GM. (Incidentally, the person sitting to the left of the Governor in that picture is Ken Lortz, UAW Region 2B director… awkward!)
State and local officials praised Chrysler’s commitment to the local plant, and Mr. Kasich, whose comments were followed by a smattering of “boos” from some workers, reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to provide just more than $12 million in incentives and tax credits to aid the automaker’s investment. “Manufacturing has to come back, and it is coming back to our state,” the governor said. He has taken criticism from some that he did not support the federal bailout in 2009 of Chrysler. Others contend the bailout saved the company and that without it, no such announcement would have been made this week.
Not only did Kasich oppose the bailout. He bashed it on The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News and many people associate Kasich’s 2009 speech at a major Tea Party rally in Columbus at the Statehouse (which was privately organized by Kasich aides and supporters) as the unofficial kickoff of his gubernatorial campaign. One of the major themes of the 2009 Columbus Tea Party rally? Opposition to the auto bailout.
Then Kasich traveled to Lorain to join Republic Steel in announcing the construction of a new electric arc oven that will result in 449 jobs by 2013. This particular economic development package, as The Chronicle-Telegram noted, had been in the works for two years (in other words, the Strickland Administration played a significant role in designing the state package.)
And while Kasich was more than happy to be photographed with Republic Steel’s CEO, he probably was less than pleased by this admission by its CEO:
Nonetheless, 55 percent of the steel produced by Republic is for the auto industry, Vigil said. He said the auto industry’s rebound and plant expansion wouldn’t have been possible without the Obama adminstration’s 2009 auto bailout that Kasich had opposed at the time.
Kasich stopped short of praising that bailout Wednesday.
“I am thrilled that we have an auto industry that is strong again in America,” he said. “Support the bailout? That’s yesterday.”
What Kasich also hopes is relegated to yesterday? His repeated assertions that Ohio could only grow jobs if it raced to the bottom. Keep in mind, both of these jobs are for union shops, growing the ranks of the Steelworkers and UAW.
We’ve talked before about how John Kasich is the worst economist ever, constantly making bold predictions about policy and economics that almost never come close to panning out as Kasich predicted. For example, Kasich said in 1993 that if Clinton’s first budget actually reduced the deficit and prevented the country from falling back into a recession, he’d become a Democrat. And yet, that’s exactly what the Clinton budget did. Reduced the deficit and lead to one of the largest, longest peacetime economic booms in American history.
And did Kasich switch parties?
Being John Kasich means never admitting you were wrong.