Ohio Gov. John Kasich: Address Racial Divide With Economic Reforms

Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, comes to “This Week” to talk about reforms in his state, addressing questions of race and police misconduct.
6:59 | 12/07/14

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Transcript for Ohio Gov. John Kasich: Address Racial Divide With Economic Reforms
In today's closer look, Ohio governor John kasich. It's called the new republican party. John kasich killed in the midterms, winning re-election by 31 points. John kasich is going to win. That's a race in a key state. John kasich is looking awfully good. The latest victory for a gop star who first scored an oval office meeting with Richard Nixon when still in college. As a young congressman, he was a budget hawk. Ran briefly for president back in 1999. You run a campaign from the bottom up, and I believe that I'll be successful in this. After that presidential bid flamed out fast, he joined Lehman brothers and Fox News. Then jumped back into politics and became governor back in 2010. We're going to do it the right way. Now with back-to-back wins and a booming Ohio economy, this party maverick with a reputation for plain talk is stirring up all kinds of white house buzz. And governor kasich joins us now. Welcome to "This week," governor kasich. Good to see you again. I want to get to the broader issues of the republican party in a minute. But start with the police violence. The attorney general said he found probable cause of a pattern of excessive force in the Cleveland police department. Do you accept the conclusion and what can you as governor do about it? George, the mayor of Cleveland, frank Jackson, has done a great job. He's working closely with the justice department to make sure they are able to comply with the kind of things that the justice department has seen. As, you know, just on Friday, with three african-american women, senator Nina turner is kind of the lead on that, I've agreed to create a task force to look across the state at what we can do to be able to respond to people who are increasingly frustrated and feel shut out. Now, this is not something that we just stumbled upon. I have been thinking about an agenda for our minority community for a while. But this kind of rises to the top. And I think what it gets down to is when there is a significant percentage of your country that believes that the system's not working for them, but can be working against them, they need to be listened to, and they need to respond -- to be responded to. George, when you think about it in our country today, too much division, too much polarization, black, white, rich, poor, democrat, republican, America does best when we're united. Ohio does best when we're united as a family. Is this a bipartisan moment around this issue? We heard mayor de Blasio lay out his issue for this. Is this where you can have common cause with the mayor and president Obama? There's no question when you have a big chunk of the community that says we have been left out. We have been addressing that in the four years I have been in. For example, you know, there's a great road between downtown Cleveland and the Cleveland clinic. We're going to spend 300, $400 million fixing that, improving that road. And we've set aside 20% of the dollars for minority contractors to be able to become a majority contractor, to promote entrepreneurship. This is something we have been aware of for a long time. In Ohio I think what works best is when everybody feels they have a chance. Everybody who has grievances can be heard. That's what we're doing in the state. Trying to lift everyone, a minority, disabled, mentally ill, E we want everybody to at least have a sense that someone listens to them and there's a place for them in the society. I think it's what the lord wants us to do, George. You heard mayor de Blasio lay out a blueprint for the democrats on the economic agenda. You talked about leading a movement of home, not only in your state, but around the country, after your re-election in November. Lay out the blueprint for republicans nationally. It does start with jobs. I just spoke to a group of people involved in the community and fighting infant mortality. What I said right off the bat, everybody has to have a sense that they can get a job. Everyone has to have a sense that their life can be better. When I look at economic development, whether it's tax cuts or deregulation or whatever, economic growth is not an end to itself. Economic growth is terrific, but it should lead to helping people who live in the shadows. That's exactly what we have done in Ohio. We help the drug addicted, we help the mentally ill, we help the working poor. We're reforming welfare so that people don't get help without some personal responsibility and the ability to move beyond their condition to prosperity. To me it's just that simple. One other thing I would say. We will never be great in America when we tear down the success to build somebody else up. That's not my thoughts, that's Abraham Lincoln. So the fact is, get economic growth going, create the sense that you can get a job. But move beyond that when you have prosperity to help people to get on their feet. You have been at odds with other conservatives on a number of issues, expanding medicaid in your state, supporting those common core education standards. Expressing some openness to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. And you won big in a key state. Is there a lesson there for the gop? Well, George, I think -- forget about the gop. Let's just talk about leaders. Again, as I said at the top here, when people don't think they're included, when people don't think they have a chance, it creates divisions. Our country's strongest when people are united. Simple. It's the bottom line. Now on medicaid expansion, I'm able to bring Ohio money back to Ohio, because I know what they do with it in Washington, and I can use it to treat the mentally ill. I can use it help the drug addicted. Why wouldn't I do that, George? That's common sense to me. So that in our state I -- you know, most Ohioans have a positive outlook. I want to double down. Make sure we're not weak. You know me, I can fight with the best of them. But at the end of the day, leaders have to unite, not divide. You know, got to and you about a possible run for president. Asked about it in March, you had a blunt answer. You said I'm just not interested in it. Is that still true? Well, George, well, look. You knew you were never going to get a good answer out of me today. I didn't get a yes. Let me say this, you have risen to the top of ABC. I want to see whether you're going to run for president. I know you would be tough. The bottom line is, we're doing infant mortality now. Task force on race, and a budget that's going to be comprehensive. That's my focus at this point in time. You're not repeating that you're not interested in running to the president. Take that to the bank. Before you go. Big win for the Buckeyes last night, 59-0 over Wisconsin. Are they going to make the college football playoffs? When I talk about uniting, if we don't get in, that's a ripoff. To the committee, pick us. Please. Pick us. We deserve it. Thanks for your time this morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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