Leaving Iowa Behind, John Kasich Fights On In New Hampshire

Jan 30, 2016
Originally published on January 30, 2016 4:19 pm

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is campaigning in New Hampshire today in advance of that state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary, which will be held one week from Tuesday.

While most presidential candidates are spending this weekend in Iowa, Kasich is hoping to break out of the crowded Republican field in the Granite State, and said today if he doesn't, it may be the end of the road for his candidacy.

"If I get snuffed out, I go home — end of story," Kasich said while urging voters to support him.

Kasich held his final event in Iowa on Friday.

Reaching out to independent voters, who can easily vote in New Hampshire's Feb. 9 primary, Kasich called himself "an independent guy. The Republican party has been my vehicle, but has never been my master."

Kasich won the endorsement of The New York Times on Saturday morning. The Times, which endorsed Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, said Kasich "is no moderate." But the paper said "he has been capable of compromise, and believes in the ability of government to improve lives."

Asked how much the paper's endorsement will help him with GOP voters, Kasich said, "When somebody says something nice to you, thank them." Kasich noted that he had also won endorsements from several newspapers in New Hampshire, as well as The Boston Globe.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Merrimack, N.H., Kasich gave an optimistic and upbeat assessment of the nation. Kasich said he understands the anxieties people have about losing their jobs or going bankrupt if they get sick, "but as troubling as those things are they're fixable."

"We're fine," he said, "we have our problems and our challenges but these things can all be fixed." Kasich added, "we need to have somebody who can pull everybody together."

Kasich stands out from most of the rest of the GOP pack, telling voters here he believes humans have influenced climate change.

He also stands out from many other politicians when speaking of his faith, telling one voter, "I'm a failure, man. I just wish I could be better."

While polling has shown Donald Trump leading the Republican pack in New Hampshire by nearly 20 points, several of the other contenders are bunched together, seemingly in battle for second place.

Kasich is banking that his combination of government experience and a less extreme version of conservatism may be a good fit with the New Hampshire's more moderate GOP primary voters.

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