Gov. John Kasich of Ohio found something surprising during the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Both the White House, and Congressional Republicans, are now “taking a lot of positions that I had during the campaign,” he said during an interview with Business Insider while promoting his new book, “Two Paths: America Divided or United.”
Kasich listed some of the shifts in Trump’s platform with which he not only agreed, but for which he said he in favour during his 2016 presidential campaign.
“It’s sort of like, I shake my head,” he said. “China’s not a currency manipulator, we like NATO, we’re not going to deport 13 million people. It’s interesting. You see, it’s interesting. Never in my lifetime have I been called boring, but I think I was a boring candidate for president because I tried to be responsible.”
Kasich said one of the biggest problems he faced as a candidate was that since he was a sitting governor, he could not make outlandish promises.
“I couldn’t actually say that this guy could jump 12 feet in the air and slam dunk over [Golden State Warriors star] Draymond Green,” Kasich said, pointing at Business Insider executive editor Brett LoGiurato.
“You could say that,” LoGiurato joked.
“Yeah, but that would be what we would call ‘fake news,'” Kasich quipped back. “So, I wouldn’t say these things.”
Kasich also pointed to a signature promise on which many of the Republicans who sought the presidency in 2016 ran: “Ripping” apart the Iran nuclear agreement as soon as they took office.
“I’ll give you a good one,” he said before citing the example of an outlandish promise that was not fulfilled. “‘When I’m president, I’m ripping up the Iran Deal on day one!’ I haven’t seen anyone rip up anything. Including a number of the members of the United States Senate.”
Reviewing the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, Kasich said it’s far too soon to give the president a grade. The Ohio governor, who at times has been sharply critical of Trump, added that he supported the missile strike on a Syrian government-controlled air field earlier this month, which followed a chemical weapons attack on civilians that the US said was carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Trump, both during the campaign and in its aftermath, had advocated for an “America First,” more isolationist foreign policy, touting non-interventionism in foreign wars.
“I actually think the Syria strike mattered, and I’ll tell you why,” Kasich said. “I was at the Munich [Security] Conference with John McCain. And people were really wondering about the country. And I think that strike demonstrated some American strength, which I think some people wanted to see. That was good.”
But Kasich, who advocated for a tougher stance against the Syrian government during his presidential bid, said he has “yet to see a strategy” from the White House on a larger scale with Syria’s civil war and Assad’s government.
“But I do think the act in and of itself did have an impact on the world in the way they were looking at us,” he said. “I do believe that.”
Taking another look at the Trump presidency, Kasich said the administration — like all that preceded it — will be judged on the economy it fosters and leaves behind.
“I think there will be great disappointment if all of a sudden there’s not economic growth,” he said. “Look, it always gets down to jobs. You don’t have economic growth, things go south. If you have economic growth, people feel better about things.”
“People would rather live in an area of poverty then in an area where there are no jobs,” he continued. “Because if they live in poverty, they have a certain sense of hope they can get out of it. If there are no jobs, there’s no hope. And bad things come from that.”
Watch part of Business Insider’s interview with Kasich below:
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