Republican presidential candidate John Kasich took the stage to discuss the current primary election and several key policies Friday night at the Republican Convention in Burlingame.
Kasich’s focus of the night was on drug policy, mental health and taxes, as he vowed to reform healthcare and the American drug system while simultaneously balancing the budget and reducing federal debt.
“I don’t know how we developed a policy that if you get a job raise and you’re a single mom, you lose your childcare so you can’t get a better life,” Kasich said.
While Kasich did not mention specific solutions to address such problems, he described his past experiences battling similar issues as governor of Ohio and as a United States congressman.
“I spent 10 years of my life fighting to balance the budget,” Kasich said. “We have created economic growth [in Ohio]. We have diversified our economy. We are running surpluses.”
According to Kasich, he was able to vastly improve Ohio’s economy by cutting taxes, balancing the budget and using common sense. He says he plans to use similar methods to alleviate America’s debt and increase prosperity.
Kasich also addressed his opponents’ policies, implying that Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are threatening to divide the nation. He also stated that the Democratic candidates’ economic promises are unrealistic.
“Here’s what I tell young people: you can have all the free you want but at the end of the day with the nation $30 trillion in debt, you might go to a free college but you won’t be able to get a job,” Kasich said.
Kasich’s political viewpoints were woven into several anecdotes describing his early life growing up in a working class household in a Pittsburgh suburb and his encounters with prominent figures such as President Nixon and the president of his alma mater as a youth.
“I don’t ever remember having met a Republican [in my hometown],” Kasich said. “I am a blue-collar son of a Democratic mailman. And thank goodness, because that has allowed me to be able to understand and relate to people at every level.”
California Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes and California State Senator Jean Fuller were among several politicians who attended the dinner to endorse Kasich.
“Without question, John Kasich is the best candidate to have at the top of the Republican ballot,” Mayes said. “He can launch the conservative reform efforts needed to restore our nation. He can unite the party and win the White House. He is prepared to be commander in chief on day one and he has the track record to prove it.”
Former U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey also attended the banquet to show his support for Kasich.
“I like the fact that he is superbly qualified by virtue of experience and success as governor of Ohio.” Humphrey said. “He has a noble soul and a golden heart and is an extraordinary human being. I think he is well qualified for the office in terms of experience and also in terms of temperament. He is respectful towards others, unlike some of the other candidates who are most unpresidential.”
Kasich is currently in third place in the Republican presidential primary with 153 delegates. California will hold its Democratic and Republican primaries on June 7.
Photos by Adrienne Kwok.