August 16th, 2015
10:51 AM ET

Governor Kasich on today's State of the Union: “I would never have committed” to Iraq

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful, Governor John Kasich (R-OH), joined guest anchor & chief congressional correspondent, Dana Bash.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Gov. John Kasich on State of the Union

Gov. John Kasich 'would never have committed' to Iraq

Kasich: 'I don't read a Bible to figure out what I think'

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Kasich on Schumer for opposing Iran deal: “I want to praise Chuck Schumer to the high heaven.  He may not like it, but I think he's shown great courage on this deal with Iran.”

Kasich on abortion: exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother are "reasonable": “Yes – I have always been for exceptions. …For rape, incest, and life of the mother. …Because I think it's reasonable.”

Kasich: "I would never have committed" to Iraq: “Well, look, I would have never committed ourselves to Iraq.  And, as you can see, ultimately, it's probably going to end up being divided into three parts.  I think the Kurds are great allies of ours.  And we have got to be very conscious of some of the things that they need and balance that off against the Turks, because that's become an issue over there.  But all the religions of the world ought to stand up and say, you blow up innocent men, women, and children, and you think you're going to paradise, there's something wrong with you, you're nuts, and if we catch you, we're going to throw you into prison, maybe for the rest of your life.”

Kasich on what he attributes his current rise in the New Hampshire polls to: “Well, I think the fact that some - there were some commercials on – that let people kind of know a little bit about me. And then we have done I don't know how many town halls now and how many meetings.  And I was always pretty confident that, if we could do that and people could hear my record and get to see me, that, you know, we would probably do pretty well.  I'm having an absolute ball.  I'm having so much fun.  So we go into this town hall, and I almost lost my breath. ...It was just like, wow.  I mean, this is amazing.  And I just wish my wife had been here to see this.  And they're just great people.  And I don't know.  It just - it's kind of emotional in a way.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR:  The countdown clock has begun as we await the next Republican debate right here on CNN moderated by our own Jake Tapper.  Will it reshuffle the race again?

The last one catapulted Ohio Governor John Kasich to the top of the pile after a late start.  Now he's surging in New Hampshire, neck and neck with another swing state, Governor Jeb Bush.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BASH:  It wasn't that long ago that you were barely registering in the polls here in New Hampshire.  And this week, one came out that says that you're in third place.  I know your super PAC has spent a couple of million dollars.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Close to second, huh?

BASH:  Yes, close to second.  But what do you attribute your rise here to?

KASICH:  Well, I think the fact that some - there were some commercials on...

BASH:  Yes.

KASICH:  ...that let people kind of know a little bit about me. And then we have done I don't know how many town halls now and how many meetings.  And I was always pretty confident that, if we could do that and people could hear my record and get to see me, that, you know, we would probably do pretty well.  I'm having an absolute ball.  I'm having so much fun.  So we go into this town hall, and I almost lost my breath.

BASH:  Why?

KASICH:  Well, because there's so many people in there.  It was just like, wow.  I mean, this is amazing.  And I just wish my wife had been here to see this.  And they're just great people.  And I don't know.  It just - it's kind of emotional in a way.

BASH:  OK.  So you talk a lot about the fact that your faith guides you.  And, specifically, it guided you on your decision to accept Medicaid dollars.  You talk about the fact that, when you die, you're not going to be asked at the pearly gates if you cut enough government spending, but did you help people who need it most?  Beyond Medicaid domestically, where else does that principle guide you and your policy?

KASICH:  Well, I think it relates to like, you know, like early childhood education, poor kids, people who are in prison, giving them a chance to get their lives back if they want to earn their way there.

But let me - let me say that the Medicaid decision was not - I didn't read a Bible to decide that.  I knew that, number one, we would save money by taking people out of prison and letting them get a job where they could become a taxpayer.  So we save money over the long run by this. But, secondly, there's the morality of, why would we want to lock a schizophrenic or a bipolar person in a prison cell?  That's not what America is.  You know, I don't, like, read a Bible to figure out what I think.

BASH:  But you obviously...

KASICH:  But I have a heart for people who - and, look, I don't question anybody else's, but I just have a heart for people who have been disabled or disadvantaged.  And, you know, I care about them.

BASH:  You talk about the social safety net in a way that a lot of Republicans don't.  You sound like a Democrat sometimes.

KASICH:  I think Republicans allowed themselves to be put in a box.  Like, if I care about people - like, some lady whispered to me when I walked out of that town hall, she says, "Thanks for caring about people." And she's, like, whispering, like that's - no.  To me, conservatism is giving everybody a chance to be able to successful.  That's the way Reagan was.  I mean, that's common sense.

BASH:  Let me ask you about some social issues. Abortion.  You're pro-life.

KASICH:  Right.

BASH:  Should there be exceptions?

KASICH:  Yes, I'm - I have always been for exceptions.

BASH:  Which ones?

KASICH:  For rape, incest, and life of the mother.

BASH:  And you know, because you were standing on the stage, two of your competitors, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, said they're for no exceptions.  Does that make electable?

KASICH:  Look, I think, no matter what your position is on the issue, you have to respect for people.  And I do.  And it's an issue that people have a right to have a different point of view.  So...

BASH:  Do you think that they would be - either would be electable against a Democrat supporting abortion with no exceptions?

KASICH:  Well, I think that it's an important issue, but I think there's many other issues that are really critical, early childhood, infant mortality, the environment, education.  I think we focus too much on just one issue.  And now that the issue of gay marriage is kind of off the table, we're kind of down to one social issue, you know?

BASH:  Well, but it's one that matters to - in a lot of people's lives.

KASICH:  To a lot of people on both sides.

BASH:  Why are exceptions part of your belief?

KASICH:  Because I think it's reasonable.

BASH:  Let's talk a little bit about foreign policy.  There was another beheading at the hands of ISIS.  If you were sitting in the Oval Office now, would you commit more ground troops, American ground troops?

KASICH:  Well, I would do it as part of a - but I would be working to get the other countries to jump in and join us.  I don't want to go alone.  Let me tell you what I would do.  First of all, I would have supported the rebels in Syria that were in there to topple Assad.  Secondly, I would have a coalition of other countries, including us, on the ground beginning to degrade and destroy ISIS, because, as you begin to do it, that whole caliphate begins to fall apart, in my judgment.

Thirdly, I want to praise Chuck Schumer to the high heaven.  He may not like it, but I think he's shown great courage on this deal with Iran.

BASH:  One of your competitors, Jeb Bush, is blaming the rise on ISIS on President Obama and Hillary Clinton.  Do you think that that is true or do you think that George...

KASICH:  I don't know what his thinking is on that.

BASH:  Well - well, just the fact that he pulled the troops out of Iraq and left...

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH:  Well, we should have had a base left in Iraq, for sure.

BASH:  But do you think that President George W. Bush, who launched the attack initially, bears some responsibility?

KASICH:  Well, look, I would have never committed ourselves to Iraq.  And, as you can see, ultimately, it's probably going to end up being divided into three parts.  I think the Kurds are great allies of ours.  And we have got to be very conscious of some of the things that they need and balance that off against the Turks, because that's become an issue over there.  But all the religions of the world ought to stand up and say, you blow up innocent men, women, and children, and you think you're going to paradise, there's something wrong with you, you're nuts, and if we catch you, we're going to throw you into prison, maybe for the rest of your life.

BASH:  OK, last question.  We were joking about the fact that you know that you have a reputation as somebody who is a bit prickly, has a little bit of a temper.

KASICH:  No.

BASH:  But you say - but you say that's not true.

KASICH:  Yes.  Well, you know, as people get to know me, they get to understand I'm passionate about things, you know?  But I will tell you something.  I'm having a ball out there.  People are noting that he may be the happiest candidate in the field. But I have got to tell you, I'm not a marshmallow.  I mean to get things done.  But I only - always got them done by building a bipartisan effort.  And I will tell you another thing that's really cool.  I have people who have worked around me for as long as 40 years.  And we will - we march as a team.  We're part of a movement to do something bigger than ourselves.  And that's really what it's all about for me and all my pals.

BASH:  Governor, thank you.

KASICH:  Thank you.

BASH:  Great to see you.

KASICH:  Enjoyed it.  Thank you.

BASH:  Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

###END INTERVIEW###

 


Topics: CNN • Dana Bash • State of the Union
tmpl
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.