John Kasich: What does he stand for?

Last Updated Feb 10, 2016 12:30 AM EST

  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich gives his speech announcing his 2016 presidential bid at the Ohio Student Union, at The Ohio State University on July 21, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. Ty Wright, Getty Images

    Is Ohio Gov. John Kasich really a moderate Republican, or does he just occasionally play one on TV?

    After finishing a strong second in New Hampshire, Kasich has breathed new life into his bid to position himself as the "establishment" Republican candidate in a field thus far dominated by Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

    A former congressman who left office in 2001 to enter the business and media arenas, Kasich reentered politics with a successful gubernatorial run in 2010, and he was reelected by a wide margin in 2014.

    With that diverse background, Kasich would certainly bring a wealth of experience with him to the White House, should he win. But what would he use that experience to do as president?

    Kasich was considered a reliably conservative legislator during the 1990s. He helped negotiate several balanced budgets as the chairman of the House Budget Committee. He carved a fairly hawkish profile on the Armed Services Committee. He helped lead the push for welfare reform in 1996. And he voted to impeach then-President Bill Clinton in 1998.

    As governor, though, Kasich has hewed more closely to the middle of the road. He's won plaudits from conservatives for his tax and education reforms, but he angered some Ohio Republicans when he decided to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. He's also urged Republicans to strike a more inclusive tone on issues like immigration and same-sex marriage.

    Kasich has leaned on his Christian faith to explain his approach to politics.

    "Put yourself in somebody else's shoes. Put yourself in the shoes of a mother and a father of an adult child that is struggling...Understand that poverty is real," he told reporters in 2013, as the Ohio legislature was mulling his push to expand Medicaid. "When you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he's probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small. But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer."

    Here's a look at what John Kasich stands for.

    CBS News Political Reporter Jake Miller contributed to this story.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for