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Published: Monday, 10/18/2010

Kasich rallies the GOP in northwest Ohio, ties Strickland to Obama

BY TOM TROY
BLADE POLITICS WRITER

TIFFIN, Ohio - John Kasich, the Republican candidate for governor, pumped up supporters and potential supporters in Tiffin and Findlay Monday with promises of scaling back government and creating jobs.

Mr. Kasich spoke to groups of about 100 at the Pioneer Mill restaurant in Tiffin and at Hancock County Republican Party headquarters in Findlay.

The tour of northwest Ohio came one day after President Obama spoke to a crowd of 35,000 in Columbus for Mr. Kasich's opponent, Democratic Governor Ted Strickland.

Mr. Kasich called Mr. Strickland and President Obama “the twins,” because of all the positions he said they shared, including “higher taxes, bigger government, more regulation, Obamacare, and one size fits all.”

He said the President and the Democratic organization have spent more to defeat him than any other candidate in the United States. He said that was because of the importance of Ohio in electing the President in 2012.

No Republican has been elected President without carrying Ohio. Mr. Obama carried Ohio in 2008.

He said later he based his statement about Democratic money targeting his campaign on discussions with knowledgeable political operatives, and did not offer any proof.

“We are going to stop strangling small business. They are the engines of job creation,” Mr. Kasich said. He also promised to “restore the tax cut that was taken away from us,” an apparent reference to the last step of a multi-year tax cut that was shelved by Governor Strickland and the General Assembly earlier this year.

The decision to hold off on the last of a planned state income tax cut, passed with the help of Republican lawmakers as well as Democrats, saved the state an estimated $800 million in lost revenue as it faces up to an $8 billion deficit in the next two-year budget.

Mr. Kasich touched on a wide variety of topics, including education, workers' compensation, K-12 and higher education, and his experience in Congress where he said he was the chief architect of the first balanced budget in decades under President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Kasich's running mate, Mary Taylor, was to address supporters at the Putnam County GOP headquarters Monday afternoon, and then the two were to meet for a rally at the Williams County Fairgrounds in Montpelier, Ohio, at 5:30 p.m.

In Columbus, Governor Strickland said today he's been a business-friendly governor.

“I do understand that business must succeed, business must be profitable,” Mr. Strickland said. “I think the fact that I embraced the '05 tax reform ought to be very significant to the business community. John Kasich really trashes our tax system, and he minimizes that 2005 tax reform. That tax reform was fashioned in large part by the business community in Ohio. I think I'm better for business than John Kasich, quite frankly.''

Contact Tom Troy at 419-724-6058 or tomtroy@theblade.com



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