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Kasich Stresses Values More Than Policies In Inagural Address

Ohio Public Radio

Governor John Kasich was sworn into his second term in office earlier today. His inaugural speech sounded more like something that would come from a preacher than a politician.  Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.

It’s not unusual for John Kasich to talk about his spirituality. But in his inaugural speech, the governor focused on commonly held personal values rather than specific proposals or political ideas.  He called on Ohioans to be empathetic.

Kasich “It is a sin not to help someone who needs it but it is equally a sin to continue to help someone who needs to learn how to help themselves.  And when we manage government efficiently, we can figure this out.  It can help those who cannot help themselves and in some cases, it can be a temporary weigh station.  And do not be bitter at people who need temporary help.  Do not be that way.”

Kasich took a well-known quote by Former President John Kennedy and modified it to make his point.

Kasich “Don’t ask what someone else can do for you but what you can do to help yourself and someone else.  That should be our new refrain here in the 21st century.”

At times, Kasich talked in broad terms.

Kasich “We are Ohioans and we are Americans. We can’t be partisans and we cannot be extreme ideologues if we are going to deal with the problems in America.”

Pepper “It looked like he had a broader audience than just Ohio in mind in what he had to say.”

David Pepper, the Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said he thought Kasich’s speech sounded as if the Governor might have presidential aspirations.  Indeed, Kasich has been mentioned by national political pundits as a possible Republican contender for president in 2016.  Pepper says he wants Kasich to focus on helping middle class Ohioans right now.

Pepper – “A lot of the last term, unfortunately, was spent by the other side attacking Ohio’s families whether it was Senate bill five or local government cuts.  We will keep fighting for those things.  We will work together to get that done but we will stand up for those families if we have to.”

Kasich is expected to lay out specific plans and proposals in the coming weeks when he makes his fifth State of the State speech, and when he reveals his budget early next month.

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