Saying it was not a day for politics as usual, Ohio Governor John Kasich still got partisan on Saturday at the Sunshine Summit in Orlando on Saturday afternoon. His entire speech was centered around the battle against terrorism in the wake of the attacks in Paris on Friday night,
“I don’t know if this is the time for political criticism or the blame game, but I must say, that we as a nation, the United States of America, has not shown leadership. We just have not shown leadership. We’ve had an unwillingness to lead,” he said, referring to the unnamed Obama administration official who once told the New Yorker that the U.S. meant to ‘lead from behind.’
“If the U.S. were to continue to lead from behind, we will leave the world a much more dangerous place,” Kasich continued. He then suggested that NATO should invoke Article 5, which says that an attack on one member of the alliance is an attack on all members (which would include the U.S.).
Kasich said this a time for the U.S. to stand behind the French, and work together on intelligence operations. “It’s only through effective intelligence that we can begin to learn of threats, and there’s no doubt in my mind, that some of our intelligence cooperation has thwarted attackers that we have not even heard of.”
He also said there needed to be a concentrated effort to win the battle of ideas with Islamic terrorists, invoking the use of Radio Free Europe being broadcast into the former Soviet Union during the Cold War, and more recently, using communications to get into North Korea. “I believe that the war on ideas can be won, based on our Jewish and Christian principals, and those moderate Muslim friends that we have to communicate the message that this kind of nihilistic, murderist attitude is not going to help civilization. It is completely and totally wrong. So I believe it’s a good organizing tool and good method to get joint effort.”
Kasich — as everyone knows who’s watched him in the debates — was the chairman of the House Budget Committee the last time the U.S. government balanced the budget, back in 1997. He was asked if he could balance the budget and fight a war on terrorism without raising taxes.
He said that his balanced budget plan boosts military spending, and freezes every other form of spending. He says his plan would end up raising growth by 3.9 percent.
He later elaborated with reporters that a coalition of foreign armies should be formed to “destroy ISIS. ” However, he later admitted that he was critical of President Obama’s decision to put 50 advisers in Syria, fearing it could get the U.S. involved in a civil war there. “I recognize that the headquarters of the ISIS military is there and that they need to be destroyed.”
How to balance that seeming contradiction?
“Foreign policy is complicated,” he admitted.