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NBC "Meet the Press" - Transcript

Interview

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BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

DAVID GREGORY:
And we're back this morning with a special discussion about jobs and the economy. Joining me now, the former mayor of New Orleans, he's now the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial. Republican governor of Ohio, John Kasich, the chairman and CEO of Honeywell, David Cote, chief economic for Mesirow Financial, Diane Swonk, and host of CNBC's Strategy Session, David Faber. Welcome to all of you. Governor Kasich, your 20th appearance on Meet The Press.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
Is that right.

(OVERTALK)

DAVID GREGORY:
So many of course when you were House budget chairman, so you know about what is going on. Can you explain it to the rest of us? What is going on and how is this going to end?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
You know, you always-- I was-- budget chairman, one of the chief architects of the last time we balanced the budget in 1997. It always gets down to-- the end. And-- but David, it's a matter of-- of-- will. If-- both sides have a will to get this done then--

(OVERTALK)

DAVID GREGORY:
Do you see the will now? Is it different from how it's been?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
Well, I mean there's a little-- look, it's always difficult to put a big deal together. Is the will there? I think right now they're still talking past one another.

DAVID GREGORY:
Yes.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
But I have to tell you, in my state where we faced an $8 billion deficit, we wiped it out. We eliminated it. And here's the interesting thing. We have just been taken off of negative watch in the middle of this and-- and we also have jumped, according to CNBC, 11 places in terms of business friendly. We've been able to cut taxes, improve reform government. And you know why? We looked it square in the eye but-- 'cause Ohio was dying. And-- we are beginning to really become business friendly. That is what they're not doing here in D.C. right now.

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DAVID GREGORY:
--work for Fox News. What's the impact there? What's the reaction there?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
Well, it-- you know, they-- they have not been touched this, they have told me. And-- I believe them. And-- we just have to see how this all unfolds. It's-- you know, Murdoch's fired people. He's-- you know, he's-- he's quoted as-- as-- as being told that his hands in his-- his-- in his-- his head in his hands, crying with the family that-- was impacted. I mean it's-- it's a terrible thing. And-- hopefully we'll get to the bottom of it. And it will change-- it'll change journalism.

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GOV. JOHN KASICH:
When a business-- and I've been in business for 10 years-- before I got this governor's job. When a business is uncertain about the future they sit on the sidelines. We have more-- we have so much money on the sidelines waiting to be invested, but they're uncertain about where we're going to go.

The answer, get this god darned deficit under control, do not raise taxes on capital gains risk takings, provide incentives for investment. Real changes in education to connect our kids with real job opportunities. And, you know, if you begin to-- and-- and lay down some-- some-- certainty on regulatory reform, he'll be investing.

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GOV. JOHN KASICH:
--we also need training in real world. Vouchers for companies so that they can train for things that they need. In Ohio because we faced our-- our eight-- billion dollar budget deficit and provide tax relief, what's happened? CNBC says we jumped 11 points--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
--eleven places in terms of business friendly. The credit agencies say your credit, we have taken you off negative watch. When you provide certainty to people, then they are able to-- they're able to respond to it. And we're we're seeing in Ohio are positive things. If they did it in Washington we'd be better.

DIANE SWONK:
Well, the--

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GOV. JOHN KASICH:
Yeah. I-- I-- I was. Look, in '97 we cut taxes, by the way. We cut taxes on capital gains. We balanced our budget. The economy was going great. The problem with tax increases, and I was telling David this. He was on the Bowles commission. Got bless him. (LAUGHTER) Is that-- you raise the taxes, they spend the money but they never cut the spending.

David, I saw it. When Bush said, "Read my lips," and then he caved in on a tax-- tax increase. We put Graham Rudman. And this was this program to cut spending. We spent the money and every time we got to the cuts we put 'em off. Now the problem we have here is we have a spending problem not a tax problem. But I would support loophole closings, lowering rates, lowering the corporate rates, lowing the-- lower the personal rate.

MALE VOICE:
Okay.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
But, frankly, the revenues-- that come from that shouldn't be spent on--

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MALE VOICE:
Look, I mean it's-- at the end of the day you have to deal with this deficit. And you're not going to get it done--

DIANE SWONK:
Right.

MALE VOICE:
--without reforming programs.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
Mayor, I would disagree with you on this. I believe it is possible to design a federal government that doesn't hurt the most vulnerable by bringing in reform of those programs. We've done it in Ohio with Medicaid.

DIANE SWONK:
They love it.

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
We've saved billions in and the AARP supports our program. We let Mom and Dad stay at home if they qualify for a nursing home. It saves us a lot of money.
(OVERTALK)

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
But-- but-- so I think that's one thing. The loophole closings ultimately will happen, because if you can get lower, flatter rates, it's going to happen. But at this point, look, we all know it. If we don't deal with the $14 trillion debt by changing the spending patterns of Washington--

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DAVID GREGORY:
Governor Kasich, I want to show you our trend tracker, the hottest political stories this morning as we're following them. The debt limit debate. The president met with the Dalai Lama. And Obama 2012 fundraising, he's raising a lot of money. I do want to ask you a political question. Are you going to endorse a Republican candidate in the-- process of the primary?

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
Not for a while. Not for a while.

DAVID GREGORY:
In the primaries or--

(OVERTALK)

GOV. JOHN KASICH:
I don't-- I don't know yet. David, let me say, you know, I had a little golf game with John Boehner, the president and vice president. We sat around the table when it was all over and I said, "Guys, none of us-- really belong at this table. The lord's put us here. We've been blessed. Let's not blow it."

At the end of the day, America can be great when every American looks in the mirror and says, "What did I do to make this country a little bit stronger? What did I do for my children?" And that means these Congressmen and Senators, the president, everybody as well. We can do it.

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