January 19, 2016


Q&A: WSJ's Interview With John Kasich in New Hampshire (REID J. EPSTEIN, 1/19/16, WSJ)

WSJ: How much of your success is due to the fact that you haven't been in the crosshairs of the super PAC ads or attacks from other candidates?

Mr. Kasich: I think the reason we've done well is I've had a positive message and a message of experience and accomplishment. Contrary to what the national media says, I have found it to be very welcoming. I have not found a lot of anger. And I think our town halls have been great, they've been a great source of volunteers and people thank us all the time for the kind of campaign we've run. You know, if you want to attack me, that's fine, but get ready. I'm no cupcake here. I think the Bush slime machine is getting ready to ramp up.

WSJ: It feels like you're talking to a different electorate, one that's not as dark and doom-and-gloom as other Republicans.

Mr. Kasich: One thing I learned in New Hampshire. There is an establishment lane, an anti-establishment lane and, as one reporter said, there's a Kasich lane. If you go into a room of 100-plus people, and you want to be the prince of darkness, you can be it. But I don't operate in the dark, I operate in the light. And I am very, very positive about our ability to fix this country and people respond to it. You come to a town hall and people laugh, they get a lot of information, they leave and we sign a lot of people up. I don't believe this whole business about everybody being angry. I haven't experienced it. And I couldn't figure out why. Are people just not coming to my town halls that are angry? No, it's because we have a different way of approaching it. So I'm not a big guy that believes that you gain energy from demonizing other people. I think you gain energy from giving people hope.

WSJ: You don't think that Republican voters in 2016 are angry about the last eight years with Barack Obama in the White House?

Mr. Kasich: I think they're upset, yes. But I don't think they live in the doldrums. What I've seen is, people laugh. They want to know that you get them. The thing is, I relate exactly to what they're concerned about. I come from that stock, never having a say, thinking that the big people will always call the tune. That's where I come from. At the end of it, I believe we can solve anything. I believe people working together can lift everybody. And that's what I tell them. I'm not sugarcoating anything, but I'm not walking in there as the prince of darkness, I'd rather be the prince of light, the prince of hope.

Posted by at January 19, 2016 6:27 PM