Orlando (CNN) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday he is grateful for the recovery of the American automobile industry, a cornerstone of Ohio's manufacturing sector for decades.
But in an interview with CNN, the Republican refused to wade into an ongoing dispute between Democrats and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney over the federal bailout of the auto industry.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and Michigan native, declared in a 2009 New York Times op-ed that Detroit should "go bankrupt" instead of receiving federal funds.
"I think there isn't a single person that I know that didn't want to have a strong auto industry in America," Kasich told CNN during the Republican Governors Association annual meeting in Orlando. "It's just a matter of how you get there."
Rick Snyder, Kasich's fellow Republican governor in Michigan, has said that government invention helped save Chrysler and General Motors - and he warned GOP presidential candidates against criticizing the bailout.
Kasich would not go that far.
"What's done is done," he said. "We have a strengthening auto industry in Ohio. And I am very pleased about it. I am pleased for the families of workers who have jobs."
Kasich said he has visited Detroit twice this year to lure business to the Buckeye State.
Asked if he agreed with Romney's assertion that the automakers should have undergone a managed bankruptcy process instead of taking billions in bailout money from Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Kasich punted.
"I just don't have any interest in even commenting on that," he said. "I am not going to talk about Mitt Romney. It's not important to me what he said or might have said."
Despite major Republican gains in the state in the 2010 midterm elections, Kasich said Republicans might face an uphill battle in the perennial swing state next year.
"It's always tough to beat an incumbent, always is," said Kasich, who narrowly defeated a sitting Democratic governor last year. "The weakness for the president is the jobs issue. If he can convince people he is moving it in the right direction, that is going to help him."
"It's going to be nip and tuck again, I guess," he added. "But I don't even know who the nominee is, so until I know who the nominee is and what their message is, it's hard to predict."
Man, he's picking his words carefully these days, isn't he? Thats a switch.
Anyone who has an oz of brain understands that, without bailout, the economy of the entire nation could be now in a cesspit tank.
spineless jellyfish. Give your opinion and stand by it.
Debate? Those who hate government and insist government literally can't do anything right (often as their social security checks land in checking accounts on time or medicare cards are being used) refuse to acknowledge that, without government help - RESPONSIBLE government help - the auto industry would have collapsed right along with housing, and we could very well be in a full-blown Depression. Then again, "conservatives" such as Kasich would rather ignore facts and get on with their talking points.
Well-paid people wake-up in the morning and run to their jobs. You want the best people you can get working on planes, car
Sounds like he wants to "have his cake and eat it too". In other words, don't give the President's bailout plan credit for a job saving move, but don't speak out against a Republican for what would have been a job killing option.
Bail out the people with jobs & stop foreclosures. Well-paid people wake-up in the morning and run to their jobs. You want the best people you can get working on planes you fly on, cars you drive, and defense of your country.
Kasich refuses to comment because he is the Republican governor of a rust-belt state that relies on the auto industry, and he knows that Romney, and most of the GOP ,was on the wrong side of the issue.The president's bail out of the auto industry was the right call, and it has worked.Also, he was recently handed a big 2/1 defeat, himself, ion his bill that would have harmed the public unions of such groups as firefighters and police; and after seeing the effects of the public's uprising in Wisconsin against the Republican governor Scott Walker for trying to strip the unions of their right to collective bargaining, he knows that he, himself, is on shaky ground.
"I am not going to talk about Mitt Romney. It's not important to me what he said or might have said."
That bailout saved my job at a time when my husband was unemployed, so we know how I feel about the auto bailout. Anyone that thinks that it just saved the auto makers needs to enlighten themselves as to the far reaching tentacles of the auto industry.
Now, to Governor's Kasich's comment above vis-a-vis Romney and anything he may have said, said, or will say, we are in complete agreement. Romney is only up on that stage because he bought his way in. He is unqualified, a two-face, a fence-sitter, and completely irrelevant to anything and everything of importance in our country.
And shame on you Governor Kasich for NOT giving your President credit where it is due. He saved your state and your constituents from incredible woes.
Obama 2012. Seriously America.
Sounds like you want to play both sides of the fence Johnny. You know good and darn well the bailout was necessary. We wouldn;t have an auto industry today if Willard were President. He would have sold America down the road like he did at Bain Capital.
Thanks to President Obama for saving 2 million auto related jobs. Mittens was against it before he was for it, and the lying people who talk at the foreign news network, Fox, called it a government takeover of the auto industry. Every republican screamed like a sissy against saving those jobs and loaning money to GM and Chrysler.
"has said that government invention helped save Chrysler and General Motors"
Really? Invention? I swear I haven't seen an article on CNN recently without these blatant typos. Perhaps firing editors was a bad idea?
Gov. Kasich is a status quo conservative who is part of the problem, not the solution. After Ohio's anti-union bill went down in defeat, Kasich tried to sound concilliatory by saying it was not the right thing to do. But in the same breath, he followed that up with saying that it was "too soon" for the legislation to pass.
Kasich didn't think the legislation was wrong. He just thinks that it was "too soon" for the people to accept. It is the same old thing that I always tell you about. Conservatives always think failures are a messaging problem, that they were not persuasive enough. The possiblility of being simply put, flat out wrong just doesn't factor into their reality.
I wish Ohio could recall him. He's a sneaky rotten person inside and out.
Of COURSE he won't comment. What could he say that wouldn't make Romney or himself look like idiots?
Like most Republicans, they all showed up for the ribbon cutting and are celebrating "their" success from the auto bailouts. But, when they go on Fox news, their tune changes to, "they should have let those companies go under"!! Hyprcrites. I hope the people of Ohio, Michigan, Pa, Wisconsin realize where the bailout came from and who had been against it.
President Obama will win in 2012
Somehow we are to believe that Republicans want to make America great (again), when they are willing to kill off our one last great industry. How does that square? Republicans just want to protect and groom the richest 300,000 Americans, probably a few corporations, Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers. The rest of us apparently, can just go to hell (or their next made-up Middle East war).
The problems with American politics today, party line is more important than facts, and not enough backbone to tell the truth.
Oh come on if Romney were President the only auto company that would of survived would be Ford, Go ahead people of Ohio vote Rethuglican see what that would get you, NADA
Of course he won't give the Obama administration credit–he's a Republican. Duh!
We really bailed out the UAW. Their unions contracts are the single biggest reason the companies went under. Any bailout should have required that the union contracts go in the trash. Obama put the UAW before the taxpayers big surprise.
sure glad we had a Democratic president instead of a Republican like Flip (let Detroit go bankrupt) Romney
Kasich, grow a pair and take a stand. After the recent SB5 defeat, Kasich has been hesitant to take any stand at all.