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Kasich: 'If I get to be president, I'm going to golf'

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich receives some tips in a segment on the Golf Channel



NEW YORK – Ohio Gov. John Kasich, regarded by many as a “Washington insider” for his 18 years in Congress, took part in a 2011 “golf summit” with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and then-House Speaker John Boehner at Andrews Air Force Base.


The golf outing on June 18, 2011, was seen as an opportunity for Obama to meet Boehner on a personal level after Boehner assumed the House speakership in January 2011. But looming large at the time was Obama’s push to extend the nation’s debt limit, then at $14.3 billion.


The Washington Post said Boehner’s choice of Kasich as his golfing partner was unexpected.


Kasich had just suffered “a rocky few months” in his first term as Ohio governor. But with his six years as chairman of the House Budget Committee, he offered “deep budget expertise.”


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Apparently, though, Kasich’s golf game did little to persuade the Obama administration to restrain deficit spending, as the national debt currently exceeds $18 trillion. It’s on target to exceed $20 billion when Obama leaves office in January, doubling the amount of debt he inherited from his predecessor, President George W. Bush.


In an interview with The Hill July 29, 2015, Boehner commented on the 2011 golf match with Obama, Biden and Kasich, saying he was unlikely to hit the golf links again because people get “bent out of shape.”


“The president has suggested, ‘Hey, do you think it is too much trouble to play golf again?’” Boehner said in excerpts of an interview on the Golf Channel, as reported by The Hill.


“I have to look at him and say, ‘Yes, because everybody gets bent out of shape worried about what we are up to, when all we are really going to do is just play golf.’”


‘Chance to relax’


Known as an avid golfer, Kasich said in an interview last November with the Golf Channel that he likes to relax watching the Golf Channel.


“I get to be president, I’m going to play golf,” Kasich said. “You got to realize that it’s a down time that people who are making these decisions all the time need to have. That doesn’t mean that if you work being an Uber driver you don’t need the same kind of rest, but a lot of times the pressure’s always there, so it gives you a chance to relax.”


Kasich was campaigning in Florida Nov. 15, 2015, when he stopped by the Golf Channel’s Orlando World Headquarters to appear on the “Morning Drive” show, hosted by Gary Williams.


“People who are CEOs, politicians, anybody in a pressure situation – if you really take the game seriously. … You get lost out there,” Kasich said. “Just when I think I’ve got it, that [golf] club says, ‘Don’t have me.’ “It’s the same thing with the hole. I [feel like] I’ve got this hole and then the hole says, ‘Forget about it.’”


Kasich joined “Morning Drive” co-host Charlie Rymer in the network’s golf simulator for a lesson on his golf swing.


On the simulator, Kasich admitted to “a left problem” with his swing.


This past Sunday, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kasich reaffirmed his love of golf.


“I really don’t watch Trump rallies. I don’t watch the news,” Kasich told CNN host Jake Tapper. “I basically watch the Golf Channel when I’m traveling, believe it or not. But when I saw the violence in Chicago, I just had enough.”


Kasich blamed Trump for the Chicago violence.


“And you might recall, it was in the third debate where I stated that Trump was dividing us,” Kasich said.


Kasich’s appearance on the CNN Sunday show drew a tweet from Trump: “Gov. Kasich of Ohio just stated on a morning show that he doesn’t watch politics or anything on television, he only watches the Golf Channel.”


Golf magazine noted that Trump has been accused of cheating on the links.


“Trump in particular has a habit of bringing up his prowess on the golf course – whether it is his long-drive claims or boasting that he plays better than Obama.”


Romney campaigns with Kasich in Ohio


On Monday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney joined Kasich in campaign appearances in Ohio in a move that was likely to remind voters disaffected by Republican leadership of Kasich’s “Washington insider” credentials.


Romney recorded robocalls for the Michigan primary in support of Kasich, emphasizing it’s important to elect “a candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton and who can make us proud.”


“Hello, this is Mitt Romney calling, and I’m calling on behalf of Kasich for America,” the robocall recording began. “Today, you have the opportunity in Michigan to vote for a Republican nominee for president. These are critical times that demand a serious, thoughtful commander in chief.”


Kasich told ABC News that his campaign did not write the script for Romney.


Despite the robocalls and the appearance with Kasich, Romney has refused to endorse any GOP candidate for president.


Trump won a double-digit victory in the Michigan GOP primary, with 36.5 percent of the vote, picking up 25 delegates. Ted Cruz was second, with 24.9 percent of the vote, winning 17 delegates. Kasich was third, with 24.3 percent, and also picked up 17 delegates.


As the GOP presidential candidate in 2012, Romney lost Ohio to Obama, 50.1 to 48.2 percent.


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