Another day, another policy stumble for Ohio’s go-go CEO governor, who once again wants to be on both (or more) sides of every issue as he competes to be the Republican nominee for president next year. Today’s issue: Abortion rights.
Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor blasted out an email today defending Kasich’s “strong pro-life record.” Speaking on behalf of Kasich for America, the governor’s presidential campaign, Ohio’s second-in-command said her running mate has signed more pro-life legislation than any other governor. Ohio progressive groups point out that Kasich continues to provide conflicting answers on the topic.
Kasich Caught Conflicting Again
Among the “change agent’s” achievements, Lt. Gov. Taylor noted, is signing a ban on late-term abortions; beginning the defunding of Planned Parenthood, banning funding for abortions in taxpayer-funded public employee health plans and banning elective abortions in public, taxpayer-funded hospitals. To some, that is indeed impressive. For Mike Gonidakis, the leader of Ohio Right to Life, who has the governor’s ear on a variety of issues, “There has never been a governor in the state of Ohio as pro-life as John Kasich.”
Taylor used her communication opportunity to then solicit campaign contributions to Team Kasich, saying, “and now anti-life groups are attacking him. Can you chip in and help John fight back?”
Kasich’s Terrible Record
There are those who think Kasich’s pro-life record is exactly why he’s been a terrible governor and would be an even worse president were he to get control in Washington, then do for the nation what he’s done for Ohio. Gov. Kasich has told people to look at what he’s done, banking his campaign on selling his resume of experience and accomplishment as why he’s best qualified to be the Republican presidential nominee.
But Gov. Kasich has a habit of straddling fences on controversial topics if he says anything at all. He’s known for saying one thing to one group and saying something different to another one, depending on the venue, the audience and the political winds at the time.
ProgressOhio and Innovation Ohio took aim at Mr. Kasich Friday for his comments on abortion and Roe V. Wade that clearly conflict. In New Hampshire on Wednesday, Gov. John Kasich called Roe v Wade ‘the law of the land’ and said “we live with the law of the land.'”
But in Iowa, he had a private exchange with a woman and suggested he’d work to close half of America’s abortion clinics – if elected President.” Captured on video, Sandy Theis, Executive Director of ProgressOhio, a progressive advocacy group, and Keary McCarthy, President of Innovation Ohio, a Democratic policy think-tank, said voters deserve a straight answer from Gov. Kasich.
“Mr. Kasich needs to pick a side and stick with it,” Theis said in an email. “He can’t believe one thing in Iowa one day and something different in New Hampshire the next.”
“Gov. Kasich has introduced, supported and signed some of the strictest anti-abortion legislation in America,” McCarthy said, noting the topic is very relevant, given Kasich’s record as governor.
During Kasich’s time as governor, starting in 2011, he has reduced the number of abortion providers in Ohio by half, from 16 to eight. With the help of a supermajority legislature dominated by Republicans, it no surprise that Gov. Kasich has allowed Ohio to enact 16 new anti-abortion measures.
As Theis and McCarthy point out, some directly restrict abortion access, such as a 20-week ban Kasich signed into law his first year in office. One limits information doctors can give to patients by banning state-funded rape crisis counselors from referring women to abortion services, and another stripped Planned Parenthood of an estimated $1.4 million in federal family-planning dollars. The measures have had drastic consequences for access to medical care for Ohio women, they said Friday.
For Kasich and Taylor, abortions hitting historic lows in Ohio, as the number of clinics falls precipitously, is a good thing. For Theis and McCarthy, Kasich’s record is deplorable, and should be understood by any moderate or independent who hears his sweet song of compassion and faith and swallows it whole.
For virgin ears hearing Gov. Kasich’s lullaby for the first time, that portrays him as above politics, only doing what the Lord wants him to do, and just another guy trying to do the right thing if everybody else would just listen to him, beware and be forewarned that his record, which he points to as what he can do in the future, is exactly the wrong policy recipe for a nation that wants to move forward, not backward as Ohio has done on women’s health issues.
When Gov. Kasich says Roe v Wade ‘the law of the land’ and said “we live with the law of the land,'” what he really means is this: I don’t like the law of the land, never have and never will. “We live with the law of the land” means, once I’m in charge, I’ll work to overturn the “law of the land”, viz. Roe V Wade. President Kasich would appoint some one like Judy French, who he appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court and who ran last year telling voters that electing her would safeguard all their other votes for GOP candidates like Kasich, who once in power would change laws that they no longer want to be the “law of the land.”
Gov. Kasich likes people to see him as a moderate leader with compassion for the less fortunate. Sadly, statements like those he made in Iowa show the Music Man from Ohio is full of deception and sweet sounding music that is off-key to the majority of Americans.