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Kasich Campaign Press Release - New Jersey Star Ledger Does a Tough, Jersey-Style Comparison of Christie & Kasich

January 25, 2016

On Kasich: "A decent man who commands respect, even from those who disagree with his politics."

On Christie: "His campaign is rigged to self-destruct."

Star Ledger

On Day 2 of the Bridgegate gridlock, Bridget Anne Kelly learned that local school kids were among those stuck for hours in the traffic she had helped create.

"Is it wrong that I'm smiling?" she wrote.

That's sick, I thought. What kind of rotten soul would take joy from the hardship of others?

Now, I get it. Chris Christie is losing and the dark pleasure of watching him suffer the defeat he deserves is delicious.

It is wrong. But like most people in New Jersey, I'm smiling.

And maybe that's why I've grown so fond of John Kasich, the governor of Ohio. Because in this final stretch, it is Kasich who is landing the fatal blow.

Christie's only hope is to emerge as the moderate alternative to Donald Trump. Trump is going to win in New Hampshire, but the hope is that this fever will pass and the party will nominate a more sturdy character in the end.

So there is a secondary contest among Christie, Kasich, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Call it the fight for the sane vote.

"The thinking is that sooner or later the establishment will come roaring back," says Ed Rollins, who managed campaigns for Ronald Reagan and Christie Whitman.

Rollins doesn't buy it. He thinks Christie is dead already.

But let's play it out. What if Christie loses even the secondary contest for the sane vote in New Hampshire, where he has pinned all his hopes? What if Kasich beats him?

"Then he's double dead," says Rollins.

Let's go to the polls. Christie's mini-surge in December is fading. He has dropped back to fifth place in New Hampshire, according to the average of the most recent polls collected by Real Clear Politics, with under 8.4 percent of the vote.

Kasich is the hot property now, running second behind Trump with 13.4 percent support. He's a nerd, granted, and he waves his arms like a robot when he gets excited.

But he's been a good governor. He's wildly popular at home, with a 62 percent approval rating. His state's economy is on the march. He has built a big budget surplus, with a rock-solid credit rating that is stable. He has stuck with his core convictions in this race, even when he's going against the grain, as with his endorsement of bipartisan immigration reform and Common Core education standards.

Christie's flip on Common Core was an obvious sop to the GOP base that reflects a character flaw: Excess ambition.

As a bonus, he served for 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee, and never threatens to shoot down Russian warplanes.

To read the full article, click here.

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John Kasich, Kasich Campaign Press Release - New Jersey Star Ledger Does a Tough, Jersey-Style Comparison of Christie & Kasich Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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