FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — More than 1,000 Republicans from around the state jammed into a huge atrium on the campus of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield to take a look and listen at presidential candidate John Kasich. It’s the beginning of what’s expected to be a short, but high visibility battle for Connecticut’s convention delegates in the April 26 primary.
Introduced by his longtime friend, former Connecticut Congressman Chris Shays, the Ohio Governor brought his positive, almost spiritual version of the political town hall to the heart of Republican territory in Fairfield. “We are still the strongest country by far in the entire world and people ought to stop whining about America,” said Kasich to loud cheers and applause. And he clearly took aim at Donald Trump saying, “Great leaders don’t drive people into depression and they don’t divide people. Great leaders bring people together and respect the differences that exist in one another.”
Many people here today said they expect Trump to lose on the first ballot at the July convention and for Ted Cruz to lose on the second which would clear the way for Kasich on the third. “We like him because he’s the most reasonable person that’s been in the campaign the entire time,” said Mike Hanrahan who drove from Danbury. Diana Cohen who drove from Columbia said, “I like John Kasich because I think he has the fiscal responsibility that we need given the deficit these days. I think we need someone who’se got an idea towards cutting the budget and spending responsibly.” And Frank Musanti of Milford added, “I think he has a chance because he runs a positive campaign. He has solutions to the issues and hasn’t been caught up in the childish activities that have been going on in this campaign.”
Kasich told his audience that he favored a simpler tax code and reducing the business tax and that efforts for a so-called flat tax would never work. He said that trying to repeal Obamacare had been a waste of time and that Social Security is fixable by reducing benefits for high income earners so that you can insure benefits remain for those that really need it.
This is likely just the beginning of a short, intense campaign for the Connecticut Republican primary. We’re told both the Trump and Cruz campaigns are looking for places to hold events.