Ohio's Republican Gov. John Kasich sounded like a man on the verge of announcing his candidacy for president Sunday on NBC’s "Meet the Press."
“Look, I'm optimistic about where we are. I'm optimistic on the resources. I'm becoming more optimistic on the organization,” said the governor who has explored the idea of running for president before. He continued, "I love my country and if I can step up and help it, I intend to do it."
Kasich already started to create an infrastructure for a campaign in New Hampshire, including enlisting former Senator John Sununu. He also hasn't been afraid of making jokes about others who will probably get into the race. Earlier in the week, he told the Washington Post’s Dan Balz he "didn't know anything about Jeb Bush’s theme."
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When asked of this on Meet the Press, he avoided Bush and touted his own "unique résumé," citing his successes as a governor and congressman that set him apart from the pack.
"Chuck, with (my) résumé, national security success in Washington, and success as an executive, I mean I think it's the best résumé, and, really, a terrific record,” Kasich said.
In the wake of Nebraska’s decision to stop the death penalty, Kasich stood firm in his support for capital punishment, despite his state’s temporary moratorium. He said as governor, his position is on capital punishment is for justice for grieving families. He owed the state’s temporary moratorium to a lack of appropriate drugs, and said the option should only be used “sparingly.”
Later in the program, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews praised Kasich’s answer on capital punishment—saying his position qualifies him for the White House.
He said, "The way Kasich talked about it, showed why we want a governor to be president. Because you take adult responsibility in a really life and death situation. It separates you from the BS artists on Capitol Hill. Because you have to decide when someone lives or not."
Despite this praise, Kasich polled at two percent in the latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa poll out Saturday night — well below the front runners.
— Ed Demaria