When Ohio Gov. John Kasich made his punchy and animated pitch for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, he didn’t exhibit nearly the degree of neurotic facial twitches that usually appear, now that he’s gotten a little long in the tooth, when he’s either lecturing someone about something or taking down any opponent who dares challenge him.
The tell tale heart
Tweaking the pep rally speech he gave in Ohio just last Saturday, when Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the GOP ticket nominated today in Tampa to take on President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, were together for the first time in the small but affluent community of Powell, north of state capital Columbus.
Kasich talked about how bad off Ohio was when he took over, how he balanced a budget in the hole $8 billion without raising income taxes, which he said was out of the question if Ohio was to become competitive again. The Pennsylvania native who thought as a boy that Ohio was the promised land because his uncle told him so, talked about taking an emergency fund with only 89 cents in it, that now has been replenished to the tune of 500-million dollars.
Gov. Kasich’s tale of Ohio’s turnaround differs substantially from the tale his critics tell of how he’s produced the numbers he has. And the twain, it seems, shall never meet.
Ohio Democrats, who were stung by Kasich’s victory two years ago, and the other victories Republicans won in statewide and legislative races, know all too well how Gov. Kasich balanced the budget, and they were ready to tell their tale once Kasich stopped telling his.
Governor John Kasich again repeated his fairytale “Ohio Story” about balancing an “$8 billion dollar structural budget without raising taxes, Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said.
“But Ohioans know Kasich’s true story – taking a page from his protégé’ Paul Ryan’s playbook, Kasich slashed more than $1.3 billion from schools and communities, forcing layoffs, school levies, and tax increases across the state. In one instance, a small Ohio community, Uniopolis, even faced disincorporation in part due to Kasich’s cuts,” Redfern blasted out to reporters.
In response to the harmful Kasich policies that continue to hurt Ohio communities while Governor Kasich keeps telling his self-authored Ohio fairytale, Redfern, a former legislator running again this year for the Ohio House, released the following statement:
“Governor Kasich continues to spin his preposterous tales about balancing Ohio’s budget without raising taxes, when in reality he slashed school and community budgets to the bone, forcing layoffs, school levies, and tax increases across the state. If you like Kasich’s policy of balancing budgets on the backs of the working class, you’ll love Paul Ryan’s budget that ends Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher system. Kasich, Romney and Ryan are truly peas in a pod.”
Team Obama weighs-in
Jessica Kershaw, Ohio Press Secretary for Obama-Biden, issued a statement responding to Gov. Kasich’s false attacks on President Obama at the Republican National Convention tonight:
“John Kasich’s speech tonight was just more of what we have seen from the Romney/Ryan ticket during this campaign – empty rhetoric and false attacks. The fact is, Governor John Kasich and Mitt Romney have been uniquely bad for Ohio and our workers – from trying to strap the budget crisis on the backs of our state’s firefighters, teachers, police and other public servants to opposing the President’s rescue of the auto industry, and with it 1 in 8 jobs in Ohio. And when it comes to women’s health, both Romney and Kasich have been extremely wrong, supporting efforts to restrict access to critical care and worse, defund essential health care providers that have proven to save and improve women’s lives. The fact is, thanks to the President’s policies to cut taxes for the middle class and small businesses, invest in manufacturing, and save the U.S. auto industry which is so vital to our state, Ohio has turned a corner and is helping lead the nation out of the recession. Governor Kasich’s speech tonight confirmed what Ohioans know too well: Taken together, Kasich and Romney would throw Ohio’s middle class under the bus.”
Kasich, the ultimate government guy
Gov. Kasich squeaked into office in 2010 in a low turnout election in which he garnered less than half the vote. In Tampa tonight, he reprized the talking points that construct the legend of how far down Ohio was when he took over and how far he’s brought it back through his leadership and policies alone.
A nearly life-time government employee, from his days as an Ohio state intern to state senator to 9-term congressman, Gov. Kasich parlayed his time in government into a well-paid position with Lehman Brothers, where his electoral pedigree opened doors for him to sell Lehman services to operations like Ohio’s retirement funds. Kasich loved Lehman and Lehman loved Kasich, so much so that in his campaign for governor, he was proud to say he worked on Wall Street.
Of course, when Wall Street tanked, so did citizen Kasich’s lucrative career with Lehman Brothers, the long-time investment banking firm whose demise triggered the meltdown on Wall Street that sent economic shock waves down every Main Street in America that Main Street has yet to recover from.
Adding another page to the book of responses to Gov. Kasich agitated talk tonight was offered by AFL-CIO President Tim Burga.
“Governor Kasich’s appearance and speech at the Republican National Convention is a fitting subtitle to the overall narrative the GOP ticket has become in this election. Like Mitt Romney, Governor Kasich has embraced attacks on workers’ rights, voting rights and supports budgeting policies that are disastrous for our economy at the local, state, and federal level.
“The choices are clear in this election and it is clear that Governor Kasich, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are beholden to the most extreme positions of the Republican Party. Their anti-worker stances were all too plain to see during the SB5 fight last year. The extreme positions that the Romney/Ryan ticket is pushing and that Governor Kasich is hereby endorsing would hurt seniors, students, workers and everyone that has a stake in a strong middle class,” Burga said.
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