By Jon Cassidy | Ohio Watchdog
Ohio’s Republican Gov. John Kasich raced through his 10 minutes on the stage at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., possibly losing his TelePrompTer operator at one point, but he still hit the themes of jobs, balanced budgets and lower taxes.
“I came into office in 2011 and when I came into office, we were48th in job creation,” Kasich said, citing 400,000 job losses in the previous four years.
The state’s current surplus of around $500 million may not be huge percentage wise, but Kasich repeatedly compared it to the “89 cents in our rainy day fund” when he took office.
The speech drew a warm reaction from some quarters in Ohio.
“I thought Kasich was effective, with strong points about jobs,” said Prof. John Green, the director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron. “It reminded me a little of Jim Rhodes,” the former four-term Republican governor.
Mary Anne Christie, one of the Ohio delegates on the floor emailed after Kasich’s speech to say, “I am energized and feel ready for the battle ahead.”
Carl Rullmann, a member of the West Chester Tea Party, said that he’s always enjoyed the governor’s speeches, which give him the impression that Kasich is “someone I could go right up to and talk about something, although this may in fact not be true — like lots of politicians. He covered a lot in the speech enumerating conservative policies used to get results. He knows what will get the country back on track, a lot like (Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott) Walker (and the state’s 1st District Congressman Paul) Ryan, etc. I couldn’t see any negatives.”
Aside from jobs, Kasich talked about cutting deficits and taxes.
“We balanced our budget. That $8 billion deficit was eliminated without a tax increase in the state of Ohio,” he said to wild to applause.
Ohio eliminated the death tax, he said, “because no person should have to visit the undertaker and the tax man on the same day.”
The reaction on Twitter was the usual mix of cheerleading and criticism, with a sprinkling of analysis.
A blogger for The Daily Kos who uses the pseudonym The New Deal tweeted a quick rebuttal to Kasich’s story of balanced budgets: “John Kasich’s Budget Cuts Force Ohio Town To Turn Off Street Lights To Save Money.”
It’s true that much of the budget balancing was done by cutting state financing of local government.
A mother from Colorado going by alaynaneal pointed out that, “Kasich of Ohio, Scott Walker of Wis, (Gov. Bob) McDonnell of Va, Brian Sandoval of Nev speak of econ progress in swing states. 2-edged sword,” as the credit could just as easily go to President Obama.
Dave Weigel of Slate tweeted that “Kasich’s teleprompter is busted. He’s just riffing now. And pretty well!”
Kasich could be seen on TV glancing down at note cards once or twice, although not on CNN, which didn’t broadcast his speech.
You can watch Kasich’s speech here:
Contact Jon Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org.