John Kasich doesn't "really know how average Americans feel about Wall Street," but he does know they like money

"People aren't silly about things," says the man who came in second to Donald Trump in the NH GOP primary

By Scott Eric Kaufman
February 19, 2016 8:12PM (UTC)
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Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during a campaign stop, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, in Orangeburg, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (AP)

In an interview with John Harwood on CNBC, current Ohio governor and Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich confessed that he doesn't "really know how average Americans feel about Wall Street," but insisted that despite him having been a Lehman Brothers associate, he's not the kind of banker that Americans would hate.

"When you run a two-man office in Columbus, Ohio, that would be like blaming a GM dealer in Spartanburg [South Carolina] for the collapse of GM," he said. "It doesn't work. People aren't silly about things. It's so crazy -- if I had bankrupted Lehman Brothers from a two-man office in Columbus, Ohio, I should be pope, not running for president."


Of course, even if he were il Papa, that wouldn't make him immune from criticism from other GOP hopefuls, as Donald Trump's recent contretemps with the pontiff demonstrated.

He may not know how they feel about Wall Street, but on other subjects -- including who they want in the White House -- Kasich knows exactly what the American people think. "They don't want some fuddy-duddy," he said. "They don't want the status quo. You know, the establishment people try to put me in the establishment lane? That's a joke. The establishment fears me, because they don't tell me what to do. I play my own tune and over time people will see."

For all his talk about being the most sensible candidate in the GOP primary, Kasich clearly still buys into the majority of Republican lunacy when it comes to fiscal policy. "We are overregulated," he said.


"A lot of the regulation is killing small business. We're overtaxed, we keep raising taxes, and the Congress has an insatiable desire to spend," Kasich continued. "You get those three things in line, and work on something that you mentioned earlier in the interview, which is workforce training. That's back to that education system. You get that done, and this economy's gonna be doing very well. We'll be back to very significant growth."

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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