By Sheena Marvin
MI First Election
Republican presidential hopeful and Ohio Gov. John Kasich made a stop at Michigan State University on Feb. 15.
Kasich was coming off a strong second-place finish in New Hampshire. His growing support gave him the opportunity to slip ahead of Ted Cruz, who had taken first place in the Iowa caucus.
Kasich opened his MSU rally by thanking students for attending even though he will not be “giving away free college,” referencing a Sanders’ call for free tuition for public colleges.
Kasich did, however, address the need to reduce the cost of college and encouraged community college programs. He also pointed out Sanders slow response to the Veterans Affairs agency scandal in 2014.
Kasich used the MSU event to share his positive campaign message and enthusiastic view of today’s younger generation. He simultaneously calling for limited government and urge Americans to be more involved.
He shared a series of life lessons and stories. Kasich credited his never-give-up attitude and drive as a student at Ohio State University to land a meeting with then-President Richard Nixon.
In questions from the audience, Kasich was asked about further protection laws regarding the LGBT community.
“I recently attended my first gay wedding this year, I had a good time. The champagne was good, “ he said. “While I am personally conservative and believe in traditional marriage, I have no plans to go against the Supreme Court ruling or the creation of another amendment.”Dan Eggerding, the student who asked the LGBT question, said he was disappointed with Kasich’s response.
“I don’t accept his answer,” said Eggerding. “I want to hear him say he will enact a federal law to protect LGBT individuals in the workplace.”
Kasich also commented on the water contamination crisis in Flint.
“I think they need to look at all the water rules and regulations. We need to make quicker reporting requirements,” Kasich said. “What I will say is Gov. Snyder is probably working day and night, and probably not even sleeping, trying to get on top of the whole thing and fix it, but it is a big challenge. Water is important. Clean water is important.”
Flint is a unique situation, Kasich said. He suggested this is the result of an aging infrastructure and will be a challenge.Nick Reynolds, a MSU student, was very supportive of Kasich and his message.
“I came in here pretty excited to hear what Kasich had to say,” Reynolds said. “It really solidified my support for him. He supports the topics that interest me and shares the same values as I do.”
Reynolds believes Kasich handled the questions about the LGBT rights professionally.
“I don’t think he said anything disappointing. He is standing by the Supreme Court decision. I think he handled the question well.”
MSU student Kara Wangartz agreed. “I think the man who asked the question was being a bit too pushy,” Wangartz said. “I think he handled it with elegance.”
Wangartz supported Kasich as governor and said she hopes to see him win the Republican nomination.
“I really think he is the best candidate,” Wangartz said. “Kasich is really level-headed and has experience in banking and as a governor. He has a positive message and is running a classic campaign. I like that.”