Kasich spreads vision during Wayne County town hall

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 8, 2016

 Kasich takes a moment to comfort a member of the audience after learning of her son’s suicide.

Kasich takes a moment to comfort a member of the audience after learning of her son’s suicide.

Photo by Sean Work

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — According to presidential hopeful John Kasich, economic growth and restrained spending are essentials to create a balanced budget.

“We need a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget,” said the Republican Ohio governor when he visited University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods for a Wayne County town hall meeting March 7, one day before the Michigan primary election.

During the campaign stop, which drew approximately 800 supporters, Kasich laid out his plans should he be elected president this November.

“I’m going to make sure there are a lot of jobs and a freeze on federal regulations. We’ll cut taxes for business, including manufacturing,” said Kasich, one of four Republicans vying for the GOP nomination. “We will lower taxes for individuals so the tax code makes more sense. We’ll have a plan to get a balanced budget. We will fix Social Security. You’ve got to get these roads fixed, folks.”

And when he meets with world leaders at the beginning of his presidency, he said he’ll let them know, “America is back.” 

Kasich, who former California Gov. and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed for president March 6, took several questions from the crowd. Kasich’s thoughts on the military came up.

“We can’t be the policeman of the world. … When people are fighting within a country, stay out of the way,” he said. “Our biggest threat today is ISIS and the Taliban. They run a death culture. We are going to have to destroy them. I don’t think we ought to go it alone.”

Kasich also provided some life lessons to the young people in the crowd, including those worried about not finding a job after earning a college degree.

“Don’t be worried,” he said. “Just go get your degree. And network. Meet as many people as you can. 

“I want you to have big dreams. I want you to reach for the stars,” the presidential candidate said. “You have to see what you want to be in life. You have to visualize it.” 

Ohio’s top politician also talked about his family life. His father was a postal carrier for 29 years, and his mother liked to debate with the radio. Kasich’s grandfather was a coal miner who died of black lung disease.

“I’ve been all over this state,” Kasich said of his campaign. “I’m going to be the Republican nominee, not Donald Trump.” 

Anne Dallaire, 65, of Grosse Pointe Woods, has found Kasich to be “very impressive” all along. 

“He’s used the most logical words I’ve heard this entire campaign,” the retired educator said. “He’s the first candidate who talks specifically on policy. He talks about what he has to do. I’m going to go pray tonight we can get Trump out of there and get Mr. Kasich on the ballot.”

“He’s the voice of reason,” said 46-year-old Kasich supporter Lisa Budnick, who waited in the crowd to try to get an autograph. “He’s definitely my top choice. I like his ideas. I think he’s smart.”

Before Kasich addressed the crowd, Ohio Sen. Keith Faber and Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley — both Republicans — addressed the crowd on Kasich’s behalf. Faber, who joked about being a Buckeye, said he has served under three different governors.

“John Kasich is the first of them who has been willing to lead,” Faber said. “John Kasich has been fighting to move this country forward. He will make decisions that will allow us to balance the budget. Our country is heading in the wrong direction, but there’s an easy solution. That solution is John Kasich.” 

“John Kasich’s vision for America, it doesn’t leave people behind,” Calley said. “We need to have (people) with developmental disabilities, people with mental issues and with substance (abuse problems), we need them to have a future as well.

“If we nominate John Kasich to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States, he will win,” Calley said. “He’s our best chance for a strong future for our children and our families.” 

Kasich’s wife, Karen Kasich, made a few comments to the crowd before her husband took the stage. She said an aunt used to live in Grosse Pointe Woods and she visited her as a child. She said it “was especially fun” when they went to Jacobson’s. 

On March 2, Kasich also rallied at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Warren.

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