October 28th, 2010
08:03 AM ET
4 years ago

Kasich fed up with 'innuendo and smears'

Fairlawn, Ohio (CNN) – John Kasich is fed up.

Ohio's Republican gubernatorial nominee has withstood more than a year of "fears and smears" against him, he told CNN Wednesday evening, largely from out-of-state liberals desperate to keep Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland in Columbus.

His frustration at the race's negative tone appeared to boil over this week during a three-day statewide bus tour, in which Kasich unleashed several speeches angrily accusing Democrats of mudslinging, lies and nefarious plots aimed at undermining his campaign.

It's a dicey closing message - he risks stepping on his jobs-oriented pitch in the race's final days - but Kasich said he finally had to speak his mind.

"I wanted to set the record straight, because when you've put up with about a year and a half worth of smears, you want to let people know what they're fighting for and what's it's about," Kasich told CNN after speaking at a Summit County Republican Party event. "I am real pleased with the campaign that we've run."

Both campaigns, along with their out-of-state allies and Washington-based political committees, have aired negative ads.

Republicans have drilled down on the more than 400,000 Ohio jobs lost under Strickland's watch since taking office in 2007 and linked the governor to some of President Obama's more controversial policies.

Strickland and organized labor groups have portrayed Kasich as a creature of Wall Street – he spent several years as an Ohio branch manager for Lehman Brothers – who supported gun restrictions and looser trade deals while serving in Congress.

Kasich insisted that his campaign has "been about the economics here in Ohio" instead of the "innuendo and smears" that he said Democrats are pushing.

"Whether it's telling people that we want to take away a tax break when they get their chemotherapy drugs, or whether it's telling people I want to take away their guns, or whether its telling people I want to take away their pension system, these are just fears," he said, outlining concerns he said he has heard from supporters in recent weeks.

Earlier in the day, Strickland laughed off Kasich's claims, saying his rival is frustrated that his longtime lead in the polls has essentially evaporated down the final stretch. Most polls suggest the race is a toss-up.

"I think he sees victory slipping through his fingers," Strickland told CNN. "He assumed it was over, and it's not over."

Kasich said he always knew the race would be close given Ohio's bellwether status, but he nevertheless pointed to Quinnipiac poll this week showing him with a 6-point advantage over Strickland. (Earlier Quinnipiac surveys showed him with larger leads).

"We have got the wind at our back," Kasich maintained. "But the liberals in this country have spent a ton of money. It's part of what you put up with when you go into politics. I am not surprised it's gotten closer, but we're going to win."


Filed under: 2010 • John Kasich • Ohio • Ted Strickland
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. bob

    Then maybe Mr. Kasich should be upfront and honest and release his financial records for the People of the great State of Ohio, which includes me. He's a big fat liar.

    October 28, 2010 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  2. stufit

    Democrat liberals are desparate John, look at Joy Behar's unbelievably vile name calling. Just sit back and enjoy the stench of sweat coming from them. Just watch the SEIU, they are a corrupt, criminal organization that will stop at nothing. That is why the president of that union is the most frequent overnight guest at the White House. They feel they paid for it and the own the current resident.

    October 28, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  3. floyd

    Pot, kettle, say hello to each other and move on.

    October 28, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  4. Dave

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Republicans can't stand it when they are hit back with lies and smears and attack ads. Then they cry fowl. Grow up and get a life. It's politics. If you don't like it I am sure McDonald's is hiring. But wait. That would mean you would have to do real work with real voters.

    A six point lead in a poll is meaningless. As I said in another post these polls only call land line users. I am the only person in my IT department that has a land line phone and they are all going to vote. What are the undecided? I bet it is large. Another meaningless poll by a meaningless poll organization.

    October 28, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  5. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    He complains about outside Liberal Money, but how much money has he received from outside Conservative groups? Am I to believe that he has not run any negative campaign ads with the help of Karl Rove's pawns?

    October 28, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  6. vic nashville tn

    Every day different group attacking democratic candidates here last night I saw one ad sponsor by Dick Morris group
    So stop crying

    October 28, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. Seattle Sue

    I always thought of Kasich was a big crybaby/whiner when he was in office and it seems that he has not changed.

    October 28, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. rdepontb

    Well, John, you started down the wrong path, with the wrong crowd, if you don't like smears. Look at what those backing the hapless Tea Partiers have wrought on our civilization! Is it any wonder we have class, color, age, gender identity, 'local vs out-of-towner" bullying crimes??? Your side started this, and now is shocked-SHOCKED-when the mirror is held up to them. So, now what?

    October 28, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. From Ohio

    This from the guy who said "if it's in the yellow pages, outsource it". No lie about that. He said it

    October 28, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  10. rob

    John Kasich is going to be a very succesfull Govenor for Ohio. The Dems have nothing to run on, no real solutions to the problems facing the country so they only have smear and fear. After the election look for the Dems and the liberal media to continue the use fear and accusations that the Republicans will "Slash" funding for everything and hurt old people, young people, people of color, immigrants, women etc. etc. etc. That is all they have left.

    October 28, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  11. The Clear-Thinking Independent

    Sir,

    If you are feed up with innuendo & smear then LEAVE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

    They are the master practioner of hate, fear, smear, half-truths, and whole-lies.

    They will oblierate the truth when it contradicts what they selfishly want to achieve.

    Foe example, Chistine O`Donnel claims to be a guardian protecting the Conatituition, right? Yet just yesterday, she threatened to sue a TV station because they videotaped an interview with her. Either you are for Freedom of the Press (1st Ammendmen) or you are not.

    Republicans want everything both ways. They have ZERO HONOR

    October 28, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. gt

    you cant have disagreement anymore... one side or the other will make you look like a crook or a fool... that why smart , people will not run for office...

    October 28, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. Walking Bear

    What is Kasich talking about. I'm from Ohio. Anyone from Ohio can tell you that Kasich started slinging mud thorugh TV ads about 2-3 months before Strickland even started campaigning. His anger at how the campaign has turned out is clearly phony. Unless, of course, he is mad at himself........

    October 28, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. D. Bunker

    Translation: "I wanted to set the record straight, because when you've put up with about a year and a half worth of people talking about my horrible record as a rubber stamp for George Bush's ruinous economic policies, you want to lie to people about what they're fighting for and what's it's about."

    Kasich would be a disaster for Ohio and America because he's just another GOBPbagger who's been brainwashed by the cult of deregulation, tax cuts for the ultrarich and unfair trade. He has NO viable ideas and certainly no concern for hardworking Americans. Vote accordingly.

    October 28, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  15. Tuna

    I am an Independent voter and a senior citizen. Kasich and his Lehman buddies have done damage to my retirement future. He and his budidies on Wall Street are crooks. Rob from the poor and give to the rich. I will vote for some Republicans next week but he will not be one of them.

    October 28, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Annie, Atlanta

    Got to love those Republicans. They can dish it out and then start whining when they get it thrown back at them. It's like the school yard bully who, when he finds the kid that stands up to him, starts crying.

    October 28, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    Well, John, if the shoe fits wear it, and stop whining. By the look of what's happening here in Minnesota, Bachmann is bringing in more cash from out of state via FOX NEWS viewers than any other House candidate to date. I don't suppose it matters to you that Bachmann's ads against her opponent haven't exactly been truthful, yet Clark manages to still plug away in her efforts to try and unseat Bachmann. With very little complaint, I might add . . .

    October 28, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. diridi

    Ohio, vote any Dems...o.k, Nation is recuperating....Economy is reeling back to good, this you can see in stock market...it takes some time to job market....Bush and Reagan messed this nation like crazy...true, true, and true....with all my tears...

    October 28, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. America Shrugged

    Well I'm fed up of all the GOP political ads filling up my mailbox and TV each day smearing Democrats with nasty lies and inuendo's. Time to turn off the TV.

    October 28, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. carlos

    just look at that face.........a complete imbecile and wall streeter.......not a good combination for a governor.....brewer, christie, odone in VA., jindy in LA., bunch of nincompoops.

    October 28, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. G. Tom

    Oh, please! It's not like there aren't ads attack Strickland and other Democrats every 5 secs on TV/radio either. If anything, the republicans/conservatives have WAAAAY outspent the Democrats/Liberals in advertising this election. The fact that he avoids radio shows that take caller questions makes me doubt him (especially when he cancels at the last minute). If he can't take the heat in politics, maybe he should get out of the metaphorical kitchen!

    October 28, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |