Kasich Throws Hat Near 2000 Ring -- Sort Of
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 12) -- Rep. John Kasich Sunday gave the strongest indication yet that he will make a run for the White House in 2000, but the words were barely out of his mouth when his spokesman backpedaled.
In an appearance on NBC's "Meet The Press," the Ohio Republican, who chairs the House Budget Committee, was asked directly by moderator Tim Russert when he was planning to announce his presidential candidacy.
"Not until 1999," said Kasich, going on to add that "when I'm out on the road, like through Iowa in five days, I had an absolutely great reception and a great time."
However, after the program, Kasich spokesman Bruce Cuthbertson said the congressman had misunderstood the question and had only meant to say that a decision on whether to run would be made in 1999.
"There will be no decision until 1999," Cuthbertson said.
Kasich, 45, who represents a congressional district centered in Columbus, Ohio, was first elected in 1982. He is known as a leading fiscal conservative in the House.
Recently, he has taken on some of his Republican colleagues by opposing a $217 billion transportation spending bill, saying the legislation was loaded with pork barrel projects that would wreck the 1997 balanced budget agreement.
In his interview Sunday, Kasich expressed caution about proposals to reform Social Security by raising minimum age requirements for recipients or changing the way cost of living allocations are figured.
"We need to take our time on this. It may be necessary that we have to do some things with the consumer price index. I've always supported that anyway. And it may be we need to look at retirement age," he said.
In August, a "non-political" book by Kasich will be released, called "Courage is Contagious."
Kasich describes it as "a story of Americans who live right next door to you, who make a huge difference in the way the world works."
"We have to break cynicism and build up the ability of people to know that by doing the right thing, they can improve the world," he said.
Kasich also told "Meet The Press" that if evidence suggests that President Bill Clinton committed perjury or obstructed justice in the Paula Jones civil case, the president would be in "very, very deep trouble."
"There is no way that you could have him commit perjury or obstruction of justice and somehow sweep it under the rug," he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.