Gov. Kasich: Entitlement Reform Must Be Addressed

Ohio governor on Paul Ryan's budget vote


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: Meantime, the developments in Washington, and that Harry could be about to pull a gotcha.

Harry Reid is expected to put Republicans on the spot this week and call for a quick vote on Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, the controversial one out of the House. Already, some Republicans are bolting, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown today saying he will not support it. But is that a mistake? Should the GOP stick to its guns and finally do something about Medicare?

Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich, a former House Budget Committee chairman, I might point out, knows what it’s like to make some tough calls and deal with the tough fallout.

Governor, very good to have you.

GOV. JOHN KASICH, R-OHIO: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: On to a quick national issue before I get to issues germane in your state, sir, this fear among some House Republicans that Senate Republicans might be losing their resolve when it comes to dealing with Medicare and that Scott Brown is just the latest example. What do you think?

KASICH: Well, you know, there’s -- I remember, back when I was chairman of the Budget Committee, we were always living in fears that the Senate would be weak.

But I think what they need to do is go over and talk to the Senate Republicans. And, look, the bottom line is, when you are $13 trillion in the hole, you’ve got to have courage to at least begin to address these entitlement programs. And we’ll see what the Senate does.

There is always a lot of speculation, but the best thing for House members to do is to encourage their Senate colleagues from the states that -- where the senators represent, is to give them their idea about what this is all about.

Here in Ohio, Neil, we’ve decided to address all the important issues that are -- that has kept Ohio from growing that has resulted in more job loss in the last 10 years than every state in America except for Michigan and California. And we’ve had no choice but to begin to address our most serious problems out here.

And you know what? We’re making terrific progress. I’m really very, very pleased about where we are. But it is because we have decided that put the politics second. Put the state of Ohio, families and children first. And that’s what they need to think about in Washington, Neil.

CAVUTO: But do they? I know you had no choice but to get this in balance and you did so largely without any tax increases and the like, even in the face of initially declining poll numbers when you were spelling out the details.

These guys in Washington look at the same thing, Governor, and some of them run for cover. And that’s what Harry Reid is hoping, to call them out on it. Should they welcome that?

KASICH: Well, look, I think that the time for politics is really, Neil, fast approaching an end in that town.

A lot of us, myself, a lot of people out here in the Buckeye State, we are just amazed at the fact that Washington keeps spinning its wheels and won’t do anything. For example, we would like Washington to give us some flexibility so we can serve our Medicaid population more effectively.

They don’t want to seem to do it. There’s just countless numbers of relief that we would like to have and they can’t seem to get out of their way. I mean, it’s -- but, Neil, it’s all a matters of leadership. And leaders will emerge. You know, in ‘97...


CAVUTO: But, Governor, do you fear that, on the national level, at least with the prospective list of candidates for the presidency as there are, there doesn’t appear to be that among that bunch?

KASICH: Well, that’s press.

I mean, do I think that the people running for president have the ability, the guts to stand up and do things? I do. I mean, I absolutely believe that they do and that a leader will emerge.

You know, Neil, in ‘97, when we got the -- when we put the plan together that balanced the budget, paid down debt, strengthened the economy, we weren’t really in a crisis, but we had enough people who decided to put the country and families first, that we were able to actually get a balanced budget and to strengthen the country.

The same is true in Ohio. My colleagues, my partners in the House and Senate out here, they get it. So, it’s a matter of leadership. And sometimes you do it sooner.

CAVUTO: All right.

KASICH: It’s easier if you do it sooner. It’s harder if you do it later.


KASICH: And, look, I had an $8 billion budget deficit, the largest in the history of Ohio. But, you know, we’ve stepped up to the plate. We’re going to get this done.


Governor, thank you for your patience on all this breaking news.

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