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Two years after the New Hampshire primary, John Kasich takes the political future one day at a time

Posted at 11:43 AM, Feb 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-09 11:47:25-05

Two years ago today on the morning of February 9, 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich stood outside a Manchester, New Hampshire High School greeting voters as they made their way into the polling place for the first in the nation presidential primary.

The gaggle of reporters from the networks and stations across New England was thick around Kasich who was enjoying a boost from his performance three nights earlier in the final debate and from his early 3-2 victory over Donald Trump in Dixville Notch, the tiny northern New Hampshire hamlet that famously casts all its votes at midnight.

News 5 Cameraman Mike Harris was forced to place his camera over his head to get Kasich in frame as I attempted to get my microphone in to get sound. “I feel good today,” Kasich told those gathered having already sent his campaign bus off to South Carolina.

As we headed back to our news car to head on to our next stop, the Kasich motorcade started to ride past but suddenly came to a halt as Kasich rolled down his window waiving me over to say “this is going to be big.”

Their polling showing what would later play out and that was Kasich catapulting up to a second-place finish behind Donald Trump in New Hampshire giving him the momentum to continue on in the race.

Along with his victory in the Ohio primary, the New Hampshire finish represented the high-water marks in the Kasich presidential campaign.

Kasich would not go on to endorse Donald Trump for president and skipped the Republican National Convention in Cleveland as a result, writing in the name of Sen. John McCain in the general election as Trump would go on to win Ohio.

Two years later as he looks at the way things are playing out in Washington, Kasich has remained someone who speaks his mind.

"Washington is just really pretty dysfunctional,” Kasich said of the current state of affairs. “They can limp their way to some achievements but it really tells us, where my head is, let's do what we can, where we live. You know Washington is important in many ways but in many ways, it's not important. “

“Let’s again remember the values that our mothers and fathers taught us so that we can do this in our everyday work. Let's build a country from the bottom up and stop worrying so much about tweets and this fight and that fight. I mean it's starting to get boring."

Kasich has been outspoken on efforts to undermine the intelligence community as they engage in the Russian investigation tweeting “America's partisan divide is growing each day. It's unconscionable that our national security and justice system are being used as political footballs.”

“I think this investigation needs to be thorough and we need to find out what the Russian interference was in this country, who participated and what it means. You can’t have foreign powers interfering in our elections,” he said.

Kasich is term limited and will leave office in January of 2019, whether his travels take him back to New Hampshire after that in what would be a primary challenge of President Trump, Kasich said, is far too early to tell.

“I really don't know what I'm going to do when I'm done in this year,” Kasich said.

“It will be interesting to think about where I'll be in two years, I don't know. I am really in a position where people will probably roll their eyes but the Lord's going to give me a sense of what he wants me to do and that's what I'll do and I don't know what it's going to be."