Kasich on assault weapons, Russia & 'screamers'

Posted at 1:11 AM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 01:11:28-04

WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich made his final pitch to Ohio voters the night before the state's winner-takes-all Republican primary.

Kasich is in a dead heat with GOP front-runner Donald Trump, who made campaign stops in the state over the weekend.

After his last Ohio rally, Kasich talked one on one about his main opponent and some issues closer to home.

Read what he had to say about taxes, abortion, Russia and more; or, you can watch for yourself in the media player above:

Some community taxes under some of your plans, taxes went up to replace the Local Government Funding.

We don't have any -- we have not had taxes go up. We have the most tax cuts -- $5 billion worth of tax cuts. And when it comes to local governments, look, the federal government ended revenue sharing. And the Local Government Fund, most of these communities are running surpluses now and they're hiring people. And we got our budget balanced and we're growing jobs, and part of the reason why they have a surplus is because we've had economic growth.

And how would that look in a Washington model then?

Well we need to have common sense regulations, lower taxes and a balanced budget and workforce reform. And those are the things that worked here, it's what I did when I was in Washington, it's what I'll do again when I go back.

In several parts of Ohio, there's a major heroin issue -- heroin issue nationwide. There's a gun issue. You supported the assault (weapons) ban years ago. Would you be in favor of supporting that ever again?

No. No, because frankly, the police wanted it when I supported it the first time, but it had no impact. And I'm not for putting, you know, more laws on the books that have no effect. And frankly, I respect the Second Amendment, and I have all my career. And in terms of the heroin problem, I mean, this is a nationwide epidemic, and I think it's going to take all levels of government to beat it. But the most effective place where we beat the problem with drugs is right where we live.

You've increased abortion restrictions over the years. Going to Washington, if you were to get the top job -

Well I'm pro-life, there's no surprise there.

Does that help or hurt you in a general election?

No, we'll be fine. I'm not worried about that. You don't change your positions because you've got to get votes. I mean, you know, I have exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.

How big of a issue is it, when, today's viral world, Donald Trump can say something, and it's a 6-second clip, and it goes viral. How difficult is it to get your message over top of -

Well we're going to win Ohio, so that's going to be very important. And we're rising all over the country. So, I'm not too worried about that. I think we're in a good position, and we have to win here tomorrow, which we're going to do.

So we've had some viewers express concern on Facebook, saying, 'We wish you would have that fire out front.' You've consistently remained fairly calm throughout this campaign, obviously during these debates.


At what point will that fire come out, or will you continue this -

Well, we don't need to change anything. We're rising all over the country. People are finally starting to hear me. And people don't want a yeller or a screamer or a divider. They want somebody who has a record and a vision to be able to help fix the problems in this country. Presidents don't yell and scream. You've got to learn to conduct yourself and keep in mind the respect that you want from the people who are going to elect you. So I understand some people would like me to call names, but I just can't do that. I can't take the low road to the highest office in the land.

The Russians -- final question -- the Russians pulled out some of their troops today, that announcement?

I've just heard some of it. I don't know what exactly it means. But it would be a good announcement, it would be something that would be very, very positive. So we'll see. You know, with Putin, they say one thing and do another. We'll see where it ends up.