We still need postwar alliances


By John Kasich - Guest Columnist

About a week ago, I was talking to my uncle George. He is 92, still walks a couple of miles a day; he’s a terrific guy. We started to talk about his experience in World War II. Uncle George was in the infantry. He survived by not having his unit placed on a boat that would ultimately sink on its way to the Battle of the Bulge. Because they were crowded on that ship, his unit took a ship the next day and landed in northern France.

My father and my uncle Steve fought on Iwo Jima. That’s my family heritage, and when we think about our heroes, our military heroes, I always like to think back to the contributions that were made by our men in World War II, and I think about how amazing it must have been to be on those barges on D-Day, knowing that as part of the first wave, I may not survive.

When I think about that, I think about how amazing America is, and how amazing our spirit is, and what is it all about. It’s about preserving our values; it’s about preserving the ability of every human being to be able to live to their God-given potential. It’s about the ability of people to be free: freedom of speech, freedom to practice religion. It’s about the highest sense of what it means to be a human being, and America encapsulates that.

Now, post-World War II, we helped rebuild the world. The Marshall Plan was incredible because not only did we rebuild parts of the nations who were our allies, but we also chose to help people who actually were our enemies. Whether it was the reconstruction of Germany, whether it was the resources that we put in to Japan, and as we look today, what was the payoff?

Well Japan is one of the strongest democracies in the world, and we all celebrated when it was completed in Germany in 1989, when the wall came down. Between 1946 and 1952 we invested $2.2 billion, or $18 billion in 21st century dollars, because we thought that it made sense for us and the world, for those that shared our values, because nobody functions very well alone.

We do well when we work in teams. We do well when the strong support the weaker, when the weaker step up at times to give greater strength to those that are strong. And so we decided that it was important, post-World War II, to cement these alliances that we had with our friends and our enemies, who ultimately shared our great and strong values.

Let me tell you what I’m very concerned about. I think that we have been pursuing an America-alone policy, not America first. We have been bullying countries all over the world, and to me it never makes sense for America to adopt a wrecking-ball strategy. Take the wrecking ball, break things up, and at the end try to declare that we had some sort of a victory.

I was in the Oval Office with Barack Obama talking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Now that is something that Republicans had as a fulcrum of their philosophy and conservatives had as a fulcrum of their philosophy. Free trade, open trade, which connects the world, which allows people in poverty to rise out of poverty, and our free trade programs have allowed more people to escape poverty than any other program we’ve ever put in place.

We withdrew from the TPP. We created a vacuum in Asia, with a lot of small countries that kind of felt that they needed the strength of America to bolster them, because they fall in the shadow of China, which has a value system that is so completely different than ours.

Then we turned around and we withdrew from the Paris Accord, unilateral withdrawal from the Paris Accord. Now, this whole argument about science, well there’s one thing that’s pretty darn clear, that we are seeing significant environmental degradation. Just look at the Great Barrier Reef, some of which will never be restored to its beauty and its glory, created by the good Lord, that shows the beauty of nature and the glory of God. We withdrew from the Paris Accord; we created a problem.

Then we decided that after having made an agreement to stop the enrichment of uranium, that we would withdraw from the Iranian accord. Our allies visited with the president and argued that it didn’t make much sense, that it was an agreement that was being adhered to, and that it made sense to stay in there to monitor. We decided we’d go our own way. America alone again.

Then I watched with trepidation, the G7 summit. I was shocked to see the kind of disruption that was occurring. Insults, unacceptable behavior in my opinion, and at the end, not even an agreement on a communiqué. Then I watched the imposition of tariffs on our friends, our allies in Europe, the Canadians, the Mexicans, under the guise of national security.

Now, a number of these countries that we have been picking on, we find their troops stationed with us in Afghanistan, contributions to the efforts in Iraq, and then under a national security guise we say: We’re going to impose tariffs. This without any question has sent shock waves through the EU, NATO, the Western world.

So I looked at all of this and I thought to myself, the alliance that has kept the peace for 70 years is being frayed. The fraying of relationships has consequences.

Now we all know, and I give the president credit for being willing to stand up to the Chinese who have violated our international property rules. Are tariffs the right way to go? Probably not. There are probably other approaches that can be taken that can bring a clear message to the Chinese about the fact that they need to stop doing this, but we need our allies to be willing to stand up with us to hold the Chinese accountable.

Now when you spend your time running around and getting into these disagreements in a disagreeable way, it’s pretty hard to come back and ask your allies to support you when the going gets tough.

What I worry about is not some of the aims or the goals of the president, every president has decided and made the case as I sat in the Congress, that NATO needs to do more to support themselves. What was achieved at this summit from what I can tell is that they agreed to what they had agreed to before. Now maybe it’s been accelerated, I’m all for that, and there’s everything right with some straight talk, but it has to be done in my opinion in an appropriate way. Wrecking ball strategies rarely end up being successful over the long term.

I commend the president for his efforts to try to step up and do something about the IP robbery that China commits on a regular basis, and I support that, but I think there are better ways to accomplish our goals.

I am increasingly concerned that with the fraying of the relationship with our friends, with people who support our values, who love freedom, who are willing to invest human lives on the battlefield to preserve this, that as this alliance can potentially wither, what takes its place? What keeps the peace?

Is it important that we have discussions with Russia? Of course, because we have mutual interests all over the world, in the Middle East, particularly with Syria. We have concerns about cybersecurity, election interference, all these things matter, but most important, the issue of arms control. We need to get back to the table to deal with the problem of arms control, so that the world can be made safer. So I hope that this summit will be successful, but that the president will realize, and I’m sure he does, the significant difference between their approach to the world, our approach to the world and that of our allies.

Finally, all is not lost yet. When your clothes fray, you can repair them. We just don’t want to get to the point where we do damage to the relationships that we have, that have served us very well.


Kasich, Trump’s potential GOP challenger, calls president’s remarks ‘depressing’

By Robert Costa

July 16

The Washington Post

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who is considering a Republican primary challenge against President Trump in 2020, said he was unsettled by the president’s news conference on Monday, where Trump refused to support the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

“It’s depressing, really unlike anything we’ve seen in my lifetime,” Kasich said in a phone interview with The Washington Post. “A president of the United States saying, ‘You know, I kind of believe a former KGB agent over our intelligence community.’”

Kasich added, “This is a sad day.”

But Kasich acknowledged that his dismay may not be shared by most Republicans. He said he would be closely watching fellow GOP officials in the coming days to see if the party rallies around Trump.

“I’m wondering what the congressional impact will be, what the reaction of his base will be,” Kasich said. “It has seemed that regardless of what he says, they stay with him. We will have to wait and see.”

Anyone mulling a 2020 bid “would have to see what ultimately the reaction of the Republican Party is” before concluding that Monday’s news conference represented a turning point, Kasich said.

Kasich said Cabinet members and administration leaders would have to make their own decisions about whether to keep working with Trump.

“That’s their decision,” he said.

Kasich, who has been increasingly critical of Trump’s foreign policy in recent weeks, said he would continue to speak out. Thursday, he spoke at the National Press Club in Washington and called Trump’s approach “wrecking ball” diplomacy.

Kasich competed unsuccessfully against Trump for the GOP nomination in 2016. He placed second in the New Hampshire primary, finishing behind Trump.

Earlier this month, Kasich announced that he would heading back to New Hampshire in the fall for a speech at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications in Manchester.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), another Trump critic considering a 2020 run, called Trump’s comments at the news conference on Monday “shameful.”

Robert Costa is a national political reporter for The Washington Post. He covers the White House, Congress, and campaigns. He joined The Post in January 2014. He is also the moderator of PBS’s “Washington Week” and a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.

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These Donors Haven’t Given Up On John Kasich For President

The Ohio governor and Donald Trump critic faces tough odds. But people are betting on him anyway.

Henry J. Gomez

BuzzFeed News Reporter

Posted on July 20, 2018

Generous donors are keeping John Kasich’s presidential ambitions alive, contributing to two PACs as the Ohio governor openly considers a run against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Combined, these organizations reported $393,000 on hand at the end of June. That’s pennies compared to what Trump has. Between his reelection fund and a super PAC that operates with Trump’s blessing, he entered July with more than $44 million.

Kasich faces tough odds. But people are betting on him anyway: Silicon Valley executives, financial planners, wealthy retirees, and members of Walmart’s influential founding family.

John Weaver, Kasich’s chief strategist, told BuzzFeed News that it’s unfair to compare Trump’s fundraising totals with Kasich’s, as Trump has been raising money for reelection since his inauguration. Kasich has yet to make his plans clear. He could challenge Trump in the Republican primaries, run as an independent, or not run at all but maintain a national voice.

There are donors, Weaver said, who have pledged even more money to a Kasich 2020 effort if he runs.

“We’re not raising money to purchase media or run a presidential campaign,” Weaver added. “This is just something so that an organization can stay in place, and so that he can have a voice in the marketplace. Beyond that, we’re pleased and encouraged by the commitments if he does run.”

Kasich maintains two groups: Kasich for America, a political action committee he converted out of his 2016 campaign fund, and New Day for America, an allied super PAC, which has been paying the bills for Kasich’s top political advisers.

It’s not clear what, specifically, has motivated those who already have donated. BuzzFeed News attempted to reach many of the high-dollar contributors. Most declined or did not respond to requests to share their thoughts on the record.

But Kasich has been a prominent Trump critic and has not been shy about the fact that he’s weighing another presidential bid. Just this week, in a Kasich for America fundraising email, he blasted Trump for “what is being resoundingly described as a foreign policy and national security disaster” — his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I am just one voice out there encouraging leaders from both parties to end the political attacks and stand up for our country,” Kasich wrote. “Your efforts will help us pay to get this message to more and more people.”

That message is why Jeffrey Bird, the managing director of a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, continues to support Kasich’s political endeavors. After giving $2,000 to the governor’s unsuccessful 2016 campaign, Bird contributed $2,500 to KFA this May.

“I support John because he seems to be a spokesman for moderate/centrist and what I see as ‘common sense’ points of view that I generally support, and he is willing to speak out to a greater degree than many in the GOP at this time,” Bird wrote in an email.

Should Kasich challenge Trump in 2020? “I think that he is certainly a good candidate,” Bird responded. “How that happens is complicated … and I don’t have an opinion on that.”

Judith Brachman, who has contributed $15,000 to New Day for America since May 2017, is more direct: “Frankly, yes, I do hope he runs for president,” she told BuzzFeed News.

“I think he’s also a very important voice, as a constructive answer to a whole wide range of national issues, and having him out there speaking is an important counterpoint to the point of view that’s out there,” added Brachman, an assistant Housing and Urban Development secretary during the Reagan administration and longtime Republican activist in Ohio who also gave to Kasich in 2016.

Since the beginning of 2017, the Kasich operation has raised about $900,000 — money that has helped pay for travel, consultants, fundraising, and a digital strategy that Kasich hopes will attract young voters.

Among the other top donors:

Greg Penner, chair of the Walmart’s board of directors, and his wife, Carrie Walton Penner, granddaughter of Sam Walton, each donated $5,000 to Kasich for America in March. (Greg was a Kasich donor in 2016, too. Carrie gave to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.)

Stephen Luczo, the executive chair of the Silicon Valley data storage company Seagate, gave $200,000 last year to New Day, which unlike KFA has no contribution limit.

Gordon Gund, a New Jersey–based venture capitalist and former majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, donated $100,000 to New Day last November.

Harry Sloan, a former Hollywood executive, gave $25,000 to New Day in May.

Brad Martin, the founder of RBM Ventures, chair of the board at Chesapeake Energy, and former Saks CEO, contributed $5,000 to KFA last December.

Greg Wendt, an equity investment analyst with the Capital Group in San Francisco, has contributed $10,000 to KFA since 2017 and made more than $25,000 worth of in-kind donations to New Day that records indicate came via the use of private jets.

Wendt helped bankroll Kasich’s 2016 bid and was a big financial booster for the two Republican presidential nominees before Trump: Mitt Romney and John McCain. Wendt and Kasich have been friends for years, and Wendt could be a key fundraising piece to any Kasich 2020 puzzle.

Luczo and Gund each donated to Kasich and Clinton in 2016, as did others who have shown up in the KFA and New Day campaign finance reports in 2017 and 2018. Some also have supported other Republicans who have been critical of Trump, including Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who like Kasich is considering a 2020 bid, and Romney, who is running for a Senate seat in Utah. One couple in Washington state, after donating to independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin in 2016, contributed to Kasich in April.

The donor roster also includes prominent civic and business leaders and labor and corporate interests in Ohio, where Kasich is term-limited as governor and will leave office early next year.

Donations to Trump have been rare among Kasich’s biggest donors.

Weaver said Kasich will announce a 2020 decision after this year’s midterms, likely in 2019.

Henry Gomez is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Cleveland, Ohio.

Contact Henry J. Gomez at henry.gomez@buzzfeed.com.


‘It’s pretty lonely out here’: why John Kasich is willing to criticize Trump

The Ohio governor discusses being a prominent critic within the Republican party and the patterns he sees as midterms approach

Ben Jacobs


Fri 20 Jul 2018

John Kasich: ‘Most of the people have been upset with him, and then endorse him and then they get upset with him. I just have not operated that way.’

As one of the most prominent critics of Donald Trump within the Republican party, John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, admits: “It’s been pretty lonely out here.”

Though he does say he would like more company in a Republican party that still seems loath to ever break with the president, even as he endangers traditional alliances or cozies up to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. “Not that I mind walking a lonely road, I’ve done it most of my career, but always would be good if you had more people who are willing to stand up and say that’s the wrong direction,” Kasich said.

The iconoclastic governor leans back in a chair in his office on the 30th floor of a skyscraper overlooking Columbus, Ohio, and the sprawling suburbs beyond. The former Republican presidential candidate did not endorse Trump after losing the nomination to him and has been one of the few members of his party willing to consistently and frankly criticize the administration.

He didn’t see the benefit of being contrarian for its own sake, but as a point of political principle. “You don’t want to become a nihilist, you don’t want to be Ron Paul where nothing is ever good,” Kasich said. “But you don’t want to be a robot for the party.”

Speaking to the Guardian two days after Trump’s Helsinki summit with Putin, Kasich dismissed Trump’s attempt to clean up his already infamous press conference on Tuesday.

“To me it doesn’t explain away what happened,” Kasich said about Trump’s White House statement that he meant to say “wouldn’t” and not “would.”

“That was just some short little thing, I just don’t know, I mean maybe he does not understand the consequence or totally disagrees with the vitalness of NATO or the EU.”

Kasich noted his longstanding willingness to speak out when he thought Trump erred. “I’m not a Johnny-come-lately to this.” In contrast, the Ohio governor pointed out “most of the people have been upset with him, and then endorse him and then they get upset with him. I just have not operated that way,” Kasich, who wrote in John McCain for president in 2016, said.

“I did not feel public pressure to have to go and support somebody that I was not convinced was going to pull the country together,” he added.

A two-term governor of Ohio who ran for office by noting “I think I was in the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party,” Kasich is now more popular with Democrats than Republicans in the Buckeye state as he has made Ohio’s expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act a key part of his legacy. A former nine-term congressman, Kasich chaired the budget committee and made his name as a fiscal hawk unafraid to take anyone in his party, including George HW Bush, who didn’t share his zeal for balanced budgets.

However, Kasich says he saw a country increasingly pulled apart by partisanship with two parties where politicians were increasingly marching in lockstep with their leadership and leaving little room for independent thinking as elected officials simply toed the party line and followed orders.

As Kasich put it: “And now if you’re Democrat, I can predict what you’re going to be. If you’re a Republican, I can predict what you’re going to be, and let’s not mingle the two.” As a result, he saw the United States moving “more and more towards a parliamentary system,” a feature he noted that was not what the founding fathers intended. After all, noted Kasich, “if they wanted that they would have copied the British system.”

Kasich did see some practical solutions to curb this trend, pointing to Ohio’s recently passed redistricting reforms to curb gerrymandering by requiring both parties to have input in future congressional maps. “I like that,” said Kasich, “because as districts become less gerrymandered and more balanced then you can’t just pay attention to your base, you can win a primary and lose a general. Right now it’s just about the primary baby in both parties.”

Kasich’s desire for independent thinking was expressed in his reluctance to support the Republican running in his old congressional seat in highly contested special election. In a looming 7 August contest between Danny O’Connor, a Democrat, and Troy Balderson, a Republican, Kasich was not yet ready to fully commit to support the Republican candidate.

“I like Troy a lot as a person,” said Kasich. “He helped me to get elected but I’m looking for some independence in a Republican. The other day I read positively that he disagreed both with the trade policies and the family separation policies [of the Trump administration] at the border.”

Kasich said: “That was encouraging to me that he said those things because I would be inclined to be for him [and] probably will be once I can make sure that I am going to see some independence.” Kasich noted his concern about Balderson stemmed from an interview where the congressional candidates couldn’t name any specific disagreements that he had with Trump. However, the Ohio governor said Balderson had “now pointed some out, so we’ll see.”

Yet his concerns about politics moving to the extremes weren’t just limited to Kasich’s own party. In looking towards the midterm elections, he noted the question of whether the current “level of enthusiasm among Democrats is because they have a better way or because they are anti-something. I don’t see they have much of a better way,” said Kasich. Speaking of the current push on the left of the Democratic party to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), he sputtered in seeming disbelief: “I mean abolishing ICE, open borders for our country? That’s ridiculous.”

In his view, this was the same pattern happening on the right and the left.

“Both parties are moving further and further away from each other,” said Kasich, who wondered: “What does that mean about the middle?” The Ohio Republican argued we did not know what that means. “How big is that middle? When push comes to shove is there a big middle or is there not? I don’t know. But there will be a middle.”


Congressman Pat Tiberi’s papers donated to Ohio State

Ohio State University

July 26, 2018

Tiberi retired from the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake has announced the donation of the official papers of Congressman Patrick Tiberi to the university. Tiberi retired from the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2018 after serving for 17 years.

“I am grateful to former Congressman Pat Tiberi for donating these important documents to The Ohio State University,” Drake said. “This collection details his impact on Ohio, the nation and our broader world – all while providing valuable insights into our country’s leadership and the institutions they represent. I am certain our students, faculty and other scholars will benefit from this generous contribution for years to come.”

A graduate of Ohio State who was a member of the Ohio State Marching Band, Tiberi was elected to represent Ohio’s 12th Congressional District in November 2000. He served on the House Ways and Means Committee and chaired the Joint Economic Committee.

During his years in Congress, Tiberi focused on legislation related to tax reform, economic policy, trade agreements, and health care, and saw a number of his bills on these issues signed into law. Prior to his election to the House, Tiberi worked as an aide to then-Congressman John Kasich before serving in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000, where he rose to the position of majority leader. Tiberi was also a realtor before being elected to Congress.

Tiberi received the 2015 Excellence in Public Service Award from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs in recognition of his strong legislative accomplishments and contributions to public service in Ohio and the nation. After retiring from the House, Tiberi became president and CEO of the Ohio Business Roundtable.

Tiberi’s papers will become part of the Ohio Congressional Archives (https://library.osu.edu/oca) administered by the Ohio State University Libraries. The archive seeks to obtain and make available to researchers the official papers of members of the state’s delegation to Congress.

The Tiberi collection will be open to students, faculty and the general public for research in 2023, after the papers are sorted and arranged.


By John Kasich

Guest Columnist

John Kasich is governor of Ohio. He gave this speech at the National Press Club in Washington. This column originally appeared in The Dallas Morning News.

John Kasich is governor of Ohio. He gave this speech at the National Press Club in Washington. This column originally appeared in The Dallas Morning News.