Ohio Gov. John Kasich narrowly made the cut to appear in Thursday's GOP debate in primetime, but his camp says that he's the candidate with the most to gain.
'Chief strategist John Weaver told NBC News that Kasich has “tremendous upside” going into tonight’s 10 man scrum because “we probably have the lowest name ID nationally of anyone on the stage.”
Kasich made FOX's cut as the 10th place candidate to appear on stage in his home state. And he won't be shy about emphasizing his Ohio roots, his campaign says.
While elections are about the future, Kasich also will claim his place in “the GOP family tree of Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp.” which advisers say means he has a “unique ability” to show “empathy for the 'everyman' in America.”
With the field’s only veterans -- Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Lindsey Graham -- relegated to a 5pm ET debate for those who didn't make the primetime cut, Kasich will be in a position to stress his time on the House Armed Services Committee, “having by far the most national security experience,” Weaver said.
Kasich is prepared to hit his main campaign trail themes: “His record of being the architect to last balance the federal budget, of cutting taxes at the federal level,” and in Ohio, Weaver said. "Cutting taxes by $5 billion and creating an environment where a 350,000 net job loss turns into a 350,000 net job gain.”
The last to enter the race on the main stage, Kasich’s advisors want the audience to get to know him, “Our strategy tonight and at our town halls across the country is the same: tell the story,” Weaver said.