Washington, July 21 (IANS) Ohio Governor John Kasich, a 63-year-old Republican, on Tuesday announced he was joining his party’s long list of candidates for the country’s presidential election in 2016.
Kasich became the 16th prominent Republican to enter the 2016 campaign, Xinhua reported.
“I have decided to run for president of the United States,” he told a crowd at Ohio State University, his alma mater.
“I have the skills, and I have the experience. I have the experience and the testing — the testing that prepares you for the most important job in the world,” Kasich said.
As one-time chairman of the House Budget Committee who led a successful effort to balance the federal budget when Bill Clinton was president, Kasich brands himself as a common-sense Midwesterner who can work with Democrats.
Analysts expect Kasich will stress his national security credentials as he also served on the House Armed Services Committee and spotlight what he calls his “Ohio story”, of jobs and economic recovery, boasting of the $2 billion surplus his state has amassed on his watch.
As a two-term governor in a critical swing state, where no candidate since John Kennedy in 1960 has won the White House without winning Ohio, Kasich is a credible candidate, though his late entry means he has catch-up work to do.
So far, Kasich is not nearly as well known as other candidates.
Polls show only about 2 percent of Republicans support him. A critical early test for Kasich, analysts say, will be whether he can raise those numbers enough to land a spot in the August 6 Republican debate in Cleveland.
However, it may be too late and difficult for Kasich to gain more supporters during the two weeks because only the top 10 of the 16 candidates will be able to show up in the debate.