The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App

Kasich calls his campaign "the little engine that can"

Ohio Gov. John Kasich sounds optimistic about the state of his 2016 presidential campaign, saying it is "the little engine that can."

It's a reference to "The Little Engine That Could," the illustrated children's book about a train that makes it up a very large hill. And Kasich believes he shares the optimism and work ethic that will lead to success in the New Hampshire primary, where the latest polls indicate he has a shot at second place.

"People didn't think I was going to get in, they didn't think I'd make the debates, they didn't think I'd make the money and look at what's happened," Kasich told moderator John Dickerson on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday. "We're like the little engine that can so keep an eye on us and if we come out of New Hampshire as a story, I'm just going to tell you...I believe I'll be the nominee."

In particular, Kasich believes he can turn success in New Hampshire into victories in Southern and Midwestern states where he has already started organizing his campaign efforts. He bragged that he has "maybe one of the greatest ground games they've seen in modern political times."

"I want to be a story. I just gotta have John Dickerson talking about me the day after the [New Hampshire] primary and if that happens then people are going to finally begin to hear me," he said.

A recent National Review story suggested he might be an attractive vice presidential pick if frontrunner Donald Trump wins the nomination. But Kasich called the article the product of "people who have too much time on their hands" and "didn't have anything else to write about."

Kasich also weighed in on the latest diplomatic news, including the release of several Americans who were detained in Iran and the lifting of sanctions against Iran after it met its obligations under the nuclear deal it signed with world powers.

He said that President Obama was "overstating" the victory for the U.S. in securing the prisoner release since the Americans had all been detained on false charges.

"Where's the great victory here?" Kasich asked. "The great victory is for the families, I mean I'm thrilled with the families that their relatives have been released but to say this was some great thing I just think is overstating it by a long shot."

He said he's "sick to my stomach" about the latest news in the Iran deal because he believes Iran will use the money to spread trouble in the Middle East and it will be too difficult to reinstate sanctions if they violate the agreement.

"If I were president today I would be meeting with every one of our allies around the world and saying we're going to monitor this deal and if they violate one crossed T or one dotted I we're going to slap the sanctions back on," he said.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for