“You know, it’s amazing that I know all of this stuff, isn’t it? Cause there ain’t nobody else who can come in here [that] could answer any of this,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich boasted, self-congratulating during his interview with the editorial board of the New York Daily News [NYDN] one week ago.
Reading through the entire transcript is enlightening because it offers an unobstructed view into Gov. Kasich’s mindset, which appears to be more like a hall of mirrors with occasional dead ends on policy pronouncements or outright misunderstandings of how the world works. John Kasich, a 63-years old relic of the Reagan revolution is now engaged in his second campaign for president in 16 years. He showed the wide range of his misunderstandings while simultaneously showing that his know-it-all personality reigns supreme.
The Mouth That Roared
Like Mercury, Kasich is hard to contain because his be-a-moving-target persona jumps from one unfinished thought to another. His wandering responses on questions from taxes to revenues to charter schools or foreign policy, among others ahead of next Tuesday’s New York State primary, were hard to follow, as the transcript shows his interviewers were a little frustrated as they repeatedly asked him to clarify an answer or steered him back to the question posed.
True to his evasive style, Ohio’s glib governor circled back to his now classic but dated thinking that often times was short on details but long on wishful thinking. More than once, when confronted with specific questions on policy or programs, he dodged them, saying he’d “have to look at it” or he didn’t have the numbers.
For those who gulp down his legendary mantra that he knows how to bring people together to solve problems, it was clear from this transcript, at least, that he already has an answer for just about everything. And his little dictator complex appears alive and well, as he recalled times when listening to others was a waste of his time.
Doing a little homework reading Plunderbund could have prepared the New York Daily News team with a few responses that could have frozen Mr. Kasich like a blast of Arctic air. Whether it was his now standard pablum about his privatization of state development via JobsOhio or why income tax cuts work miracles or why raising “the cap” on income subject to Social Security was so bad, John Kasich was in his element as much as he was out of it.
One of his biggest whoppers came near the end. The NYDN knew enough to know that charter schools in Ohio are not working well. Since becoming governor in 2010, Ohio schools have gone from fifth in the nation to 23rd. Mr. Kasich, who crafts biennial budgets that ladle out about $1 billion every two years to poor performing or outright fraudulent for-profit charter schools, said there isn’t a problem anymore.
“We just fixed it. We raised all the standards. So you’re behind the time. We just reformed a charter school,” he said.
The NYDN didn’t ask about David Hansen, the husband of his presidential campaign manager, who resigned his Ohio Department of Education job following his admission that he rigged charter school data to benefit some sponsors who just happen to be big campaign contributors to Mr. Kasich and Ohio Republicans in general. Critics say Hansen should be prosecuted for violating state and federal laws, since he used the same rigged data to apply for a federal grant that was approved but since has been frozen pending more review.
That answer, of course is wrong, as was as was his claims about job and wage growth in Ohio. But since few checks facts anymore, it’s no wonder he got away with it again.
NYDN Endorses Kasich
The New York Daily News has endorsed Gov. John Kasich. “By his record of accomplishment in public life, by the credibility of his plans, by a temperament that marries a small government outlook with can-do effectiveness, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is highly suited to carry the GOP banner into the general election.”
Kasich won out over Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, candidates the paper said would be “disastrous as President — Cruz because he is an absolutist ideologue, Trump because he suffers from the irreparable, disqualifying defect of being Trump.”
Judge for yourself. Here’s the the complete transcript.