Where does John Kasich stand on the issues?

Detroit News staff

Age: 63

State: Westerville, Ohio

Family: Wife Karen and two children

Current position: Ohio’s governor

Professional background: Joined the private sector in 2001 after leaving Congress. Worked as an investment banker in the Lehman Brothers’ Columbus office and spent more than six years as the host of “Heartland with John Kasich” on the Fox News Channel.

Political background: Worked in politics almost immediately after college, starting as a researcher and administrative assistant in the Ohio Legislature. Ohio state senator, 1979-83. Ohio congressman, 1983-2000, including five years as chairman of the House Budget Committee beginning in 1995. Ohio’s governor since 2011.

Biggest campaign controversy: Kasich has largely avoided drama on the trail, but he made some controversial statements during unscripted town halls. Most recently, Kasich said women “left their kitchens” to organize and vote for him when he ran for the state Legislature in the 1970s, a statement for which he apologized.

Signature campaign line: “Economic growth is not an end unto itself. We have to make sure that everybody has a sense that they can rise.”

Number of delegates: 25 of 1,237 needed to win


Flint: Compared it with toxic algal blooms in western Lake Erie. “They’re happening all over the country now because of the old infrastructure,” he told reporters on Jan. 29. On Feb. 15, Kasich told an East Lansing town hall that Flint’s crisis should compel the federal government to re-examine water regulations and reporting requirements when the water has been compromised. Complimented Gov. Rick Snyder for “probably working day and night, and probably not even sleeping, trying to get on top of the whole thing and fix it...”

Auto bailout: Said had he been in Congress, he would have tried to find a different solution. Said in Lansing in June, “I don’t know what I would have done,” but “I’m pleased the way it came out.”

Taxes: Vowed to balance the federal budget in eight years while cutting taxes for individuals, families and businesses. Would lower income tax rates and consolidate brackets, cutting the top rate from 39.6 percent to 28 percent. He also proposed increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit 10 percent, lowering capital gains tax rates and eliminating the death tax.

Immigration: Kasich supports calls to “build a wall” along the Mexican border to deter illegal immigration but has broken with his party by endorsing a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants.

Health care: The governor expanded Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act but says the law should be repealed and replaced. He’s noted efforts in Ohio to patient-centered care, choices, market competition and decentralized decision-making.

Abortion: Kasich opposes abortion but would prefer a law that would allow exceptions in the case of rape, incest or the life of the mother. In Congress, he voted in 2000 to ban partial-birth abortions. As governor, he approved new regulations for abortion clinics and supported efforts to defund Planned Parenthood at the state level.

Islamic State: Kasich said at a recent Michigan campaign event that an alliance of countries similar to the coalition that waged the first Gulf War against Iraq is needed to defeat IS. “None of us want to end up in a war again, but unfortunately we’re going to have to go take care of business,” he said in Livonia.

Syrian refugees: Kasich was among a large group of state governors who called on the Obama administration to “pause” Syrian refugee resettlement efforts in the wake of November terrorist attacks in Paris. He proposed a review of refugee screening rules and a “safe zone” in Syria that the U.S. and local allies would protect.

Source: Detroit News research