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Hannity

Gov. John Kasich: The spirit of our country rests in us

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 11, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity," and we're coming to you live from Saratoga Springs. We're in beautiful upstate New York. It is just eight -- hello, hi, welcome.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: In eight days, voters from this state will head to the polls and help decide who they want to be the 2016 presidential nominee, 95 Republican delegates up for grabs. And tonight, GOP presidential candidate -- he's the governor of the great state of Ohio, our good friend -- for the entire hour. John Kasich is with us. How are you?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: How are you?

GOV. JOHN KASICH, R-OHIO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good.

HANNITY: Standing room only. There's like a million people standing behind there.

KASICH: Oh, yes. I didn't even see them.

HANNITY: It's all around the room.

KASICH: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: I saw you had 4,000 people in Rochester. Something happening that maybe we're not aware of?

KASICH: Well, for the first time in about the last month, they actually know my name is John Kasich and not governor of Ohio because we didn't get any attention before, did we? But now we're getting it and people are hearing the message and they're showing up!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: All right.

KASICH: You know what, Sean? Honestly, it is really amazing. It's an amazing experience to go through this. And I wasn't going to tell this story, but maybe I will. I was in Greece, New York. And people were waiting outside in line.

I mean, I can't believe it, right? It's by the grace of God that I've been given a chance to do these things. And there was a group of disabled folks, and they were screaming at me and disrupting. And the people started getting upset, and I said, Don't get upset. These folks have lived in the shadows for, you know, 100 years, and they need attention. And they screamed a little bit more, and then the whole thing ended.

And somebody on my staff said, They're still in the gym. So I went in to see them. There were three of them, and they were -- they were very severely disabled. And they said, We came at 7:00 in the morning. They stuck us in the back. And I said, Well, look, you know, I'm helping you because, frankly, the Lord wants me to help you.

And I said, And we'll take a picture, and I'm going to have my head of the whole operation in Ohio call you to see if there's some other things we can be doing because it's been a high priority.

And then as I was leaving, this young lady, young girl, she was 17. I didn't know how old she was. She said, Could I take a picture with you?  and I said, yes. Yes, you can take a picture. And she started shaking and crying.

HANNITY: You scare some people. No, I'm kidding.

KASICH: No, I mean, this is really amazing. And she -- I said to her, What's wrong, young lady? She said, I never thought that I would have a chance to meet you.

And I put my arm around her shoulder, and I said, Listen, so much of this is about celebrity in life. You don't really know me. You see me maybe on television, and you get excited. But you are what's important, what's inside of you, not some celebrity or somebody who you think is important.  It's you.

And then I felt so inadequate because there's people here tonight who have problems, people here who are hurting, people who are here, Sean, they just want somebody to care about them. And I always feel so inadequate when I see a group like this, and I kind of, like, What can I do, you know? What is it that I could personally do to just make everybody feel a little bit better?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: You got a fan over there.

KASICH: No, but -- you and I -- Sean and I have known each other for a very long time, and Sean's been -- you know, he's had groups like this all over the country. I've seen it happen. And Sean, you and I -- you know my dad carried mail. Your dad was a police officer.

HANNITY: He was a probation officer.

KASICH: Probation officer.

HANNITY: I lived in probation my whole life, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

KASICH: Well, you know, you look at them, and they just want to believe that life can be better, that their kids can do well, that they're going to get a fair shake. And it's amazing that we have a chance to be able to in some ways...

HANNITY: Oh, I agree.

KASICH: ... help you and help each other, which is really what matters.  Like I told that young lady, young girl, the spirit of the country rests in us, not in a politician, not in a celebrity. It rests in our families, our neighborhoods and our communities!

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: You know, before you came out, you know, I tell my stupid jokes a little bit, but I do say one serious thing before I talk -- before we do these interviews to every audience. I've asked you this question before.

When you think of the magnitude of the numbers, you know, 95 million Americans out of the labor force, 50 million in poverty, 46 million on food stamps, real Americans, real families, our friends, our neighbors, really suffering. And to add one point. Government's hurting them! Government's not helping them.

And we now have doubled our debt. We now have $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities. And I worry if America's in such a decline if we can reverse it. Am I too negative?

KASICH: Yes, I think we can reverse it. But here's the thing, Sean. If you go to a doctor and you say, How can we have a healthy economy, the doctor will say, Do not crush small business with regulations because you will put them out of business and people will lose their jobs, OK? Number one.

Make sure you always cut taxes for people and for companies so they can employ more people. And thirdly, let's have some common sense and let's balance a budget. So you now go to the doctor...

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Yes.

KASICH: Those are the three things. So you go to the doctor and you say - - and the doctor says -- I say, Well, I'm not feeling very well. He says, Well, what are you doing? I said, Well, we are regulating businesses out of existence. We're raising taxes on everything that is happening in this country. And finally, we've blown up the budget. Wonder why you're not feeling well.

There is a formula that works. I did it in Washington, as you know. I've done it in Ohio, put a team together, throw out all the goofy politics, focus on the problem and go fix it! That's all you got to do!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: When you -- you did leave a, what, $5 trillion (ph) surplus.  What was the deficit that you conquered because...

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH: It was real -- I don't -- I don't have that number in front of me, but it was, you know, giant. We paid down a half a trillion of the national debt.

HANNITY: National. All right, here...

KASICH: And we had four years of a balanced budget. But you know what happened? And this is the thing that burns you up. I left Washington, we had a projected $5 trillion surplus. It would have provided private accounts for young people, in addition to Social Security. And it was the House Republicans, the Senate Republicans and the president spent it, and the Republican president spent it all.

The difference between Republicans and Democrats -- Democrats love to spend. So do Republicans. Republicans just feel guilty when they do it.

HANNITY: Yes.

KASICH: And that's why -- that's why -- you have to, Sean -- you've got to have somebody that stands in the breech and says, We got to remember all the people, not the special interests...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... angry at Republicans? John Boehner was speaker. He had the power of the purse. I've read the Constitution. And they wouldn't use it to balance the budget, and the debt went up 4-point-some-odd trillions dollars with a Republican speaker and a Republican House. They didn't keep their promise. They didn't stop or -- ObamaCare or defund it. And then they went ahead with the executive amnesty and they ended up funding that when they ran in 2014 and said they wouldn't.

KASICH: Well, I don't think that anybody should make a promise when they run for office that they don't legitimately think they can keep. And that's what happens all the time.

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: You know what? A lot of people in this country, when they saw me in the debates, I would talk about my record in Washington, my record in Ohio. And people would say, Why do you keep talking about that? I'll tell you why. Today, if a politician's lips are moving, we believe they're lying. So the reason why I talk about what I've done is if I tell you I have done it before, then I have credibility to tell you what I'm going to do because of this.

You know, I'm a citizen, too. People want my vote. When they come to see me, they say, Oh, I want to be this, I want to be that. I said, What have you done? I don't want to hear about these great things you're going to do. How can I believe you? What have you done in your life that convinces me what you tell me is true? And so that's why I talk about it.

I went to just say this to everybody here. Look, I know we're worried about the security of our job. I know we're worried our kids got education, they're still living at home. I know -- I understand all of that.

This can all be fixed if we work as Americans, if we're able to enact conservative ideas and bring the country together. Sean, look, when we balanced the budget, when I left Washington, you know, with Senator Domenici, we had enormous job growth, wage growth, no discussion on income equality. And bet you that Hillary Clinton will be talking about the Clinton economy when she runs this fall, and the only reason why we got to a balanced budget is because the Republicans, House and Senate -- we had guts and we acted as public servants and not as politicians!

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Really important.

KASICH: Am I right?

HANNITY: Let me -- I actually was there -- Newt Gingrich was the speaker.  And I was there emceeing his event the night he became speaker of House of the House. And you're right because President Clinton at the time said, Oh, we'll balance it in seven, eight years, between seven and nine, between eight and ten...

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH: ... numbers.

HANNITY: And then you insisted with Pete Domenici on numbers, and we did get to a balanced budget.

You're giving a speech tomorrow. Two paths -- give us a preview.

KASICH: Well, look, you can -- I've learned this when I was actually in New Hampshire. I can come in here and talk about all of our problems and I can drive them right into the ditch or -- and I can make them angry. I can get them to be divided, polarized. And I can turn anger into things that border hate.

Or I can come in here and acknowledge all these problems, but I can tell you how we can fix it. Now, look, you just asked a question. Is America in decline? Are you kidding me? Our economy is just -- you know, by far the strongest in the world. We're the center of innovation. We're the center of invention. What -- medicine -- if you take a look at life expectancy, transportation -- we are just -- we just are dominating the world!

Now, we're drifting. We can fix it. And we don't want to be saying America's worst (sic) days are behind us. Look, you do a good job when you're realistic, not pie in the sky, and you can convince people that if we can shed the nonsense, of course we can climb out of this. We've had a lot worse times than what we have right now.

HANNITY: The problem from my vantage point is I don't see the political will to get it done. I'll give you one example.

KASICH: I agree with that.

HANNITY: For example, we have illegal immigration. Republicans have said they're going to build a fence. Democrats -- they don't want a fence because they want a constituency. Republicans want cheep labor, and there's no fence built which means not only can people come here that want a better life and jobs, but so can ISIS. They have failed the American people on simple basic tasks!

KASICH: Well, look...

HANNITY: You didn't give us a preview of the speech, so I have to back to...

KASICH: Well, that's a -- that's a little -- I mean, it's going to be a humdinger, I believe. But here's what to -- (INAUDIBLE) going to clear.  But here's what I wanted you to know.

We reformed welfare, had to get the Democrats to go along. We balanced the budget, which is a -- one of the hardest things to do because everybody wants to spend. And we got that done. In Ohio, we went from way in the hole to now we're running surpluses. We're up 400,000-plus jobs.

You see, Sean, you can't really lead from the House and the Senate. You can try. But Newt found out you couldn't do it. You got to lead from the White House.

And let me just tell you this. We will freeze all federal regulations for one year, except for health and safety. We'll unwind the regulations we have. We will force the Congress to vote on regulations coming out of the bureaucracy in excess of $100 million.

We're going to reduce the corporate taxes to 25 percent. We're going to bring the profits back from Europe because we're not going to double tax them. We're going to simplify the tax code and lower the taxes. We will have a path to balancing the budget. We'll move welfare, education, infrastructure, job training out of Washington. We will fix Social Security. We will secure the border and have a path to legalization and never citizenship.

And then we will tell the world that we are, in fact, the leader of the world. And I promise you I will have a plan to Congress within the first 100 days that we'll do all of that, every little bit of it!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: We're just getting started as we continue with Ohio governor John Kasich. He'll be with us for the entire hour tonight.

And then later, members of the audience will have a chance to ask the governor some of their questions. It's "Hannity" on the road in Saratoga Springs in beautiful New York as we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." We're on the road. We're in Saratoga Springs in New York for the hour. We have Ohio governor John Kasich with us. He's the guest.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: All right, I'm -- I have to ask you questions about your path, but I want to hear more of your vision because I think we don't ask enough of that. And I think that's legitimate criticism. But you said -- you're giving the speech tomorrow, two paths. I asked you for a preview, and you ducked my question.

KASICH: No, no, no, no!

HANNITY: No, I'm teasing. I'm teasing.

KASICH: Well, I mean...

HANNITY: We started to talk about something else.

KASICH: How about we just talk about how -- whether we're going to live in the ditch or whether we're going to come out of the ditch and realize the sun can come up.

HANNITY: Do you really -- because maybe it's -- a part of me at times is always optimistic. We've been through a depression, world wars, 9/11.  We've had great challenges as a country. We've overcome it. But I've never seen a time where Americans are so divided.

KASICH: They are. But, you know, Sean, it gets to be about realistic solutions, a record that shows you can do it. But here's the other thing.  You have to show people in the other party respect. You can't trash them.  It's like...

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KASICH: Now, look, we had -- we had the president of the United States do executive orders, which is way beyond what he should have done.

HANNITY: Illegal?

KASICH: And secondly -- should be reversed for sure.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Illegal unconstitutional?

KASICH: That I don't know. I'm not a lawyer. But thank you. I'm not a lawyer.

(LAUGHTER)

KASICH: But -- but -- and then, you know, he does "Obama care" without one Republican vote. And then let me tell you the other side of it. The president of the United States is making a speech at the State of the Union, and a Republican yells, "You lie," and then raises money the next day. You don't -- this is America. We're not a parliamentary system.

So I was with the Democrats last week and I made a state of the state. And I asked the senate leader, I said, What do you want? I said, Don't give me crazy stuff but tell me what you want. He gave me a couple things. I said, I'm not going to do that, but I can do that and I can do this and I can do that, and no, no, we're not going to do that.

And so what you have to do is you have to respect people in the other party. You don't have to agree with them. But I've got to tell you, we're going to have to invite some conservative Democrats in to help us. That's how you get Social Security done.

HANNITY: Can I play...

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: We have to -- we have to do it.

HANNITY: But here's my -- here's my retort. This is a president that called Republicans social Darwinists.

KASICH: I know.

HANNITY: He said their plan is for dirty air, dirty water. You see the ads of Paul Ryan lookalikes throwing poor grandma over the cliff. If you're the nominee, whoever the nominee is, they are -- you're going to be called racist, sexist. You want dirty air, water. You want to kill Grandma. And you want old people to fend for themselves. How do you deal with that? Because that's what they're going to do to you and you're saying you got to get along with them!

KASICH: Smile.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KASICH: And look, I got the guys in my own party doing it to me right now!

HANNITY: Yes, that's true.

KASICH: OK? No, I mean, the thing is, you want to answer the charges.  And -- but you got the show the way. And look, this is the stuff they did to Reagan. Remember, they said he was a grade-D actor. He didn't -- just keep going with your stuff, one foot in front of the other, and you have to expect these kinds of things. But over time, you have to get people to respect one another.

Remember, when Reagan was president, the Republicans didn't control the House. So he was able to get Phil Gramm, who was a Democrat at the time, and they came together.

Here's what I think we need to do. Let's just take Social Security.  You're going to have to tell Republicans and Democrats, We got to stop screwing around with this. We're putting -- we're sacrificing our kids' future and we're hurting Grandma. We got to stop doing it.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: They already stole the money. It's gone. It's not in a lock box.

KASICH: We -- we -- no, there's -- I know that. But you know what?  There's a way to fix Social Security, and I'll tell you what it is. If you've had higher income throughout your lifetime, you will get Social Security. You will get less. For those that totally depend on it, they will get what they need. That's the answer to it. It's not that complicated.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: So you're going to means test it.

KASICH: Yes.

HANNITY: Raise the retirement age.

KASICH: No, I don't have to raise the retirement age.

HANNITY: You don't.

KASICH: Just by means-testing, I can get it done. But here's the thing.  If the Republicans say they want to do it and the Democrats are going to demagogue, you'll never get it done, and vice versa. So you have to be able to pull people together, reasonable people.

And one person once said about me, is, John, your greatest gift is you can get people to do what they know they need to do but they don't want to do, OK? You can get...

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: So you're going to get everybody to eat salad and work out?

KASICH: Oh no, no.

HANNITY: No.

KASICH: What I'm saying is we can solve these political problems, but the problem is, the war goes on. And there were so many times I had to appeal to people in my own party and the other party. We have to remember our legacy is building, not tearing down, Sean!

HANNITY: That's the...

KASICH: You can get this done!

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: You mentioned...

KASICH: I wouldn't run if I couldn't get it done! Why would I do this?

HANNITY: You mentioned in the last segment, you know, this is what the Lord wants us to do. And I know you to be a guy of deep faith. What does that mean in terms of how that inspires you? In other words, some people might take that as redistribute the wealth. That's not what you believe in.

KASICH: No, no, no, no.

HANNITY: You believe in freedom and responsibility and...

KASICH: No, what I'm saying is, you see three people who except for the grace of God go I, who are sitting in wheelchairs, some that can barely move to even move the handles. Now, you don't have to be a believer. You can be somebody who's not a believer and still look and -- we can't let them be in the shadows. We can't ignore them. That's not right.  Everybody's made in the image of the Lord. Give them a chance! Give them a chance to rise! That's all. Now, how did we ever...

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY:  Yes.

KASICH: How did we ever think -- seriously, Sean, look, my mother said it's a sin not to help people who need help, but it's equally a sin to continue to help people who need to learn how to help themselves. But in the context of that...

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KASICH: Look, to me, if you take the mentally ill, I would rather give them some help, get them on medication and let them stand independent on their own two feet than have them live sleeping under a bridge or living in a prison. Now, where did that ever get to be about liberal?

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: I'm just asking you...

KASICH: I'm saying to you -- no, we don't want to...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Don't look at me. I didn't say that. I said liberals...

KASICH: No, no, no. But people say that. Look, redistribution of wealth is just dead wrong. The free enterprise system works. But the quote -- a great Catholic theologian, Michael Novak, a free enterprise system that's not underlaid by a decent set of values is bankrupt. That's not liberal.  That's common sense. It's conservative and it's right!

HANNITY: We got to take a break. We'll come back. More with Governor Kasich. We're in Saratoga Springs, New York, as "Hannity" on the road continues straight ahead.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity" and we're in Saratoga Springs. We're in New York, with Governor John Kasich of Ohio. He's our guest for the hour.

All right, I purposely didn't start with process questions because I know it annoys you and it annoys a lot of the other candidates.

KASICH: It's all right.

HANNITY: Look, the only way you can get this nomination is in a contested convention. That bothers some people, some of your opponents. I want to give you a chance to explain how you get the nomination.

KASICH: You know, I'm not comparing myself, but that's what they told Lincoln when he -- when he was going to that convention.

HANNITY: He got it on the third ballot.

KASICH: Yes. You know what he told everybody? He said, Let me just be your second choice. If you're not for me first, you know, how about -- and he snuck it in there.

Look, Sean, nobody's going to have the 1,237, as I think that's the number you need, and we're going to go to a convention. And there's a misunderstanding of conventions. Who's going to be there? It's going to be party faithful, people who worked for 30 years, you know, stuffing envelopes. They'll be a ward leaders. They'll be, you know, state legislators, former politicians.

But when you go into a convention, you start to now assume a certain weight and a heaviness on your shoulder that you didn't have before you got there.  I saw it in '76 because I worked at that convention for Governor Reagan.

And what they're going to do is they're going to look at two things. Who can beat Hillary? And I hate to say this, but I'm the only one who consistently beats her in every...

HANNITY: Why do you hate that?

KASICH: ... single poll.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: You shouldn't hate to say that.

KASICH: And -- and they're going to think about who can be president. So what's incumbent on us? We're going to have to go to all these delegations -- and look, the Trump people, they're for Trump, they're for me. They're -- I'm second. I mean, I understand them. So you know, it's going to be incumbent on us to go and visit the delegations...

HANNITY: Would you ever team up with him?

KASICH: No. I'm not teaming up with anybody.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Let me ask this question because here's -- this is the tough question.

KASICH: Yes, ask whatever.

HANNITY: If Trump or Cruz win more states, have millions of more votes, have a lot more -- hundreds of more delegates than you do...

KASICH: Yes.

HANNITY: ... and you leapfrog over them through a contested convention, don't you think -- you talked about uniting the party.

KASICH: Yes.

HANNITY: Don't you think Cruz and Trump supporters are going to be pretty pissed off?

KASICH: Well, no because, you know, first of all, a lot of them that will go as delegates, they're there for a variety of different reasons.

HANNITY: I mean the people that voted, the people that...

KASICH: Well, look, here's the thing. Your daughter got a B-minus. Now, here's why...

HANNITY: You had to tell the whole world?

KASICH: Here's the thing...

HANNITY: She mostly got A's, you know?

KASICH: No, she got a lot of A's. But here's the thing...

HANNITY: It was in French. I don't blame her.

KASICH: OK, look, here's the thing. In order to get an A, you got to get -- you must get a 90. If you get an 83, you don't get an A. I don't care what people say. You have to -- we got the rules, and the only rules we have are the total number of delegates. And then you go to the convention, and if you go in with a massive lead, you're likely to win.

But if you can't convince the delegates that you can win in fall, which neither of them can do, and secondly, that they're not convinced you would be the best leader or president, what's wrong with the delegates on the second or third ballot saying, I'm going to pick somebody that I think would do better, who would win and be a better president? I don't get that.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Look, I'm surrounded by all of your supporters here. But I want to ask this question. This is important.

(CROSSTALK)

KASICH: And you need to hear this. These are not my -- I -- I did a town hall here, and then we invited you.

HANNITY: How many of you are voting for John Kasich?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: OK. So they're mostly your supporters.

KASICH: Well, but we didn't -- we -- I just -- we just send out -- we send out notifications, say, We're going to have a town hall. People show up, whoever they are. I don't know...

HANNITY: And somebody -- I'm -- I have taken the position I'm NeverHillary. You know the hashtag NeverHillary?

KASICH: Yes. Yes. Me, too.

HANNITY: I know you are. I guess what I'm afraid of -- and I'm thinking out loud here. For example, 34 delegates were awarded in Colorado this weekend. You didn't get one. Trump didn't get one. And it seems kind of unfair, like the establishment is kind of working...

KASICH: Well, look at what happened in Michigan. That was -- it was a battle for delegates, you know? And...

HANNITY: Aren't these rules insane, though, really? It seems you can win a state and come out with less delegates. It seems like if they want to for a time stop candidate A because they don't want that candidate to get to 1,237 using candidate B and C to stop candidate A.

KASICH: I'm not engaged in this.

HANNITY: But the establishment is.  

KASICH: I don't know who they are. I've never met them.

HANNITY: Mitt Romney. Karl Rove said we need a fresh face. Scott Walker is looking for Paul Ryan. John Boehner in your home state said nominate Paul Ryan.

KASICH: Boehner said when he recouped he said that's not what I was saying. But that's neither here nor there.

You know when's happening, Sean.

HANNITY: He said it.

KASICH: No. What's happening is you have delegates who have minds. And on the first ballot, most of them are obligated to support who they got there with. But look, Cruz and Trump don't win in the fall. In fact, here's going to be the concern. No. Here's going to be the concern.

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: Here's going to be the concern. We're not only going to lose the White House and the court, but we're going to lose the United States Senate. We're going to lose the courthouse, the state house. So when people look -- look, I'm beating Hillary virtually everywhere in the country. In New York, the last poll had me only five points behind. Why would a delegate who was there who wants to win in the fall not go after the first ballot and say, wait a minute. Kasich has been a success in what he's done in public life, a good team together and he wins. Why would they not want to go for me if I can win and beat Hillary? I don't get it.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Final question. For the voters who waited online hours --

KASICH: I know.

HANNITY: To pull the lever for your opponents.

KASICH: Right.

HANNITY: Those that spend hours caucusing. My question is, let's say it works out the way you're talking about here.

KASICH: Yes.

HANNITY: How are you going to get the people that do feel disenfranchised to come along with you and united everybody?

KASICH: Because you have to spend time with them, and that's what you do during the convention and even after the convention. Look, Sean, I was a young guy and I found myself in charge of five states for Ronald Reagan.  There was not a more bitter contest than Reagan-Ford. And when we lost, we said we're going for Ford, OK? The only reason Ford lost that election is he pardoned Nixon, but he did the country a giant favor. You move on. And most of the people who were going to be there are not going to be people who are just going to storm out and walk out. They're mature people.  There could be people here who will be a delegate.

HANNITY: I'm worried about the people that vote on Election Day, if they're going to show up, because that would worry me.

KASICH: I can tell you that I don't have any antipathy directed towards me by Trump voters. I don't know the Cruz voters as well. They're not dissatisfied with me. They just went for somebody else. So then you work to unite them with a big message, a big message of what we can do in this country. And, look, I can tell you this. If these guys get picked, look at their negatives. They're not going to win. If I get picked, we can win. I mean, I don't --

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: I said last question. I have one more. Sorry. If they brought in somebody who hadn't run and they leapfrog over all of you, I would be angry. Wouldn't you?

KASICH: You know what, I'm running for president. I 'm in Saratoga, New York. I'm having the time of my life.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Until I came here. I know. All right, we'll take a break and done with that part. I could have started with it but I wanted to make sure.

KASICH: It was good.

HANNITY: We'll take a break. We'll come back. More with Governor Kasich.  We'll get some audience questions in. It's "Hannity" on the road. Yes, we're in Saratoga Springs, and we'll continue.  

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." We are on the road in Saratoga Springs, New York, with Ohio Governor John Kasich for the full hour. Ready, lightning round. How long would it take you to balance the budget?

KASICH: We estimate it would be eight years but I think it would probably happen much sooner, five to six. But it wouldn't matter because once we have the plan in place, the economy would start working.

HANNITY: Would you support cutting the size of government?

KASICH: Oh yes, yes, yes.

HANNITY: Baseline budgets?

KASICH: Oh, yes, yes. Here's the way you do it. You get a cap and say I want you to give me a budget that represents 90 percent of what you had last year, 95 percent of what you had last year, and you bring and give that to me. That's it.

HANNITY: Is the penny plan a good idea?

KASICH: Yes. We've got more than that.

HANNITY: How soon could you make this country energy independent?

KASICH: I think that's around the corner. In New York they ought to learn to get the resources out of the ground. We are doing it in Ohio.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: All right. You're -- a lot of people especially here in upstate New York, you know --

KASICH: Let me go back the first question, because here's the thing. Once you have a plan that begins to freeze federal regs for some period of time, you begin to drive these tax cuts, particularly the corporate tax cuts so people will invest in America and you have a path to a budgeted budget. If you asked the small business people here and they will tell you if they were certain of that they'd start working. So you get the economic activity a lot faster than when you get to the final.

HANNITY: Are New York's restrictive gun laws unconstitutional in your mind?

KASICH: No. Are they unconstitutional? No. I believe in the Second Amendment, and when you violate it, that's wrong. You don't do that. I'm a Second Amendment guy.

HANNITY: You're pro-life.

KASICH: Yep.

HANNITY: You're pro-religious freedom.

KASICH: Yes. Depends what that means.

HANNITY: Should the Little Sisters of the Poor be forced --

KASICH: No, they shouldn't.

HANNITY: No. OK, who are you're two favorite justices on the Supreme Court?

KASICH: Well, I mean, my favorite, of course, is the man we just lost. He was by far and away my favorite judge.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: I also like Clarence Thomas.

KASICH: I like Clarence.

HANNITY: And you would appoint originalist justices?

KASICH: I appoint over 100 now in Ohio and the first question is, are they conservative?

HANNITY: Right.

KASICH: OK. And that's -- they've -- I appointed a woman to the Ohio Supreme Court. She's fantastic. Conservative, common sense. Yes, of course you want -- you don't want judges making laws. You want them interpreting the law.

HANNITY: Is ISIS and radical Islam evil in our time?

KASICH: The worst. It's one of the worst things we've ever seen in history. So what do you have to do? You have got to get those Arab Muslim countries that we had in the first Gulf war, we kicked out Saddam, that means Egypt, it means Saudi Arabia, it means Jordan, it means the Gulf states, you got to get western Europe. You go in the air, on the ground.  You destroy ISIS. Destroy them. When it settles down --

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: When it settles down you then leave. Let them draw the map in the Middle East. And then we need -- I mean, America -- look, I wouldn't have gone to a baseball game with Castro. I would have flown home after Brussels. I then would have -- let me finish.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: You wouldn't do the tango?

KASICH: No. I would have come home. I would have met with my military and intelligence officials, called all the leaders in Europe, sent my team to Europe, discussed our vulnerabilities, fixed them, because what we need is the civilized world, all of the civilized world against the barbarians.  These are a cult of death.

And what amazing me, Sean, is how can these people sit in an apartment in Europe and plan to take a bomb to an airport and kill our families? We have to destroy those people. And here at home. Here at home.

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: Here at home, joint terrorism task forces. That's why the Apple thing got resolved. It appears as though it did. Our joint terrorism task force, FBI, Homeland Security, state and local law enforcement, they should disrupt. We have a job. When we see crazy things happening, we have to tell law enforcement.

And then, finally, just because we would work for example --

HANNITY: It's not a lightning round, but go ahead.

KASICH: You're talking about --

HANNITY: I know. Evil in our time, it's important.

KASICH: On national security I spent 18 years on the committee. I went all the way from the fall of the Berlin Wall to kicking Saddam out of Kuwait, all the way to being in the Pentagon after 9/11. I have seen all this and I know how it works and what to do.

HANNITY: Last lightning round question and then we're going to get to audience questions. Three names at the top of your list for vice president.

KASICH: Derek Jeter.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Henrik Lundqvist. All right, go ahead. Who else? Three serious names.

KASICH: No. It's too early to measure the drapes. I will come back with that later. But I'll tell you what you need. No. Here's what you need.  You need a vice president who will argue with you but who is your partner.  I've already picked the vice president, you know? I picked the lieutenant governor. I have already made a selection like this, somebody that got my agenda, somebody who would go out and promote my values, or not my values so much but my policies. That's what you do not just for a vice president but the entire cabinet. You have to have the entire cabinet and the vice president all rowing in the same direction with a goal of being a job creating country and manage the budget.

HANNITY: We'll come back. When we come back, audience questions straight ahead.

(APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to Saratoga Springs in beautiful New York. Ohio Governor John Kasich is with us.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: All right, you've got first time caller, long time listener.  What is your name, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, governor, and Mr. Hannity, thank you for visiting us here in Saratoga Springs. My name is Steven Lutman (ph). Governor Kasich, under a Kasich presidency, what specific steps would you take to help small business, especially here in New York, a highly-taxed state?

KASICH: Look, first of all, I believe that we need to bring the top rates down. I use the old Reagan plan, 28, 25, 10 percent with a capital gains rate of 15. But here in New York, if it wasn't New York you won't have any jobs. It's just that New York has got a certain magic to it. In our state our small businesses don't pay any income tax. Can you believe that?

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: But I would do as president, I would bring down the top rate to 28 percent which helps you because you pass through your business. Secondly, we'd freeze all federal regs for a year, and my vice president, whoever it would be, Derek Jeter --

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: Derek Jeter would be spending time trying to unravel these crazy rules and regulations we have to make it easier for you. Very important.

HANNITY: We met this group of high school juniors. Hi, girls. How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello.

HANNITY: Are you the spokesman? Have you decided? By the way, get out from behind her so your moms can see you on TV.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: There you go. You all have a consensus question for the governor?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, Governor Kasich. The five of us are representing the Republicans amongst Democrats Club from our high school.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is one message you'd like to convey to high school voters?

HANNITY: Great question.

KASICH: Look, the most important thing for you five to realize you've been made special. There is nobody ever been like you before and there will never be like you again. And you have a purpose here. And you need to live a life bigger than yourself. And you need to realize that by living a life bigger than yourself and changing the world where you live, that is your purpose in life. That is where you're going to find satisfaction.

So I want you to have big hopes, big dreams, lots of confidence in yourself, because you're the generation that we're counting on to continue to improve our country.

Number two, we're going to create an economy where you can realize your God-given purpose through some of the work that you're going to do. It's really, really important.

And I'm going to give you a tip. When you go back to school tomorrow, you meet with your guidance counselor, and you say to your guidance counselor these are the things I'm trying to do. This is what I might want to be.  Tell me, are those jobs out there? And secondly, how do I get one, OK? We need to train our young people with the skills they need.

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Thank you.

If I can add one piece to that, and don't date any boys, none. They're all horrible.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: All right, real quick, one last question. And we only have about a minute. You've got to really hurry as we turn it out. Hi, how are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good evening, governor. I'm from Karen Maginoswki (ph) from Clifton Park, New York, and my question is what steps will you take to handle the nation's current immigration situation?

KASICH: Well, look, we have to finish the border for sure. And anybody who tries to come in has to go back, no question, no debate. Have a guest worker program where people can come in and go home. And finally, for those that are here, they can have a path to legalization if they have not committed a crime since they've been here, paid back taxes, a fine, but never a path to citizenship but a path to legalization. And I think we can get this issue behind us quickly. I believe that, OK.

HANNITY: Governor, we've got 30 second. You're final word?

KASICH: The spirit of our country rests in us, not in politicians, not in the government. It rests in us and our families, our neighborhoods and communities. And you're going to have the tools, if I'm president, to do the things you need to do here, change the world, believe it. You can get it done. And America is going to raise for us, for our children and our grandchildren. God bless you. Thank you very much.  

HANNITY: Governor, thank you. We appreciate it. When we come back, final moments as we continue from Saratoga Springs. We're in upstate New York as "Hannity" continues.   

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Wow, look at this crowd.  Unfortunately, that is all the time we have left this evening. As always, thank you for being with us. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.  Governor Kasich, thank you. Appreciate it. Governor John Kasich.

(APPLAUSE)

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