Kasich: Romney `Touched People’

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

John Kasich, governor of Ohio, center, announces his state's choice for presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa, Florida, Aug. 28, 2012.

The first presidential debate has “breathed new life and energy into the Republican Party,” Ohio Governor John Kasich, a former congressman and Republican presidential candidate in 2000, said during a conference call with reporters today.

“For the life of me, I can’t figure out what President Obama was doing,” Kasich said. “What was amazing is, he couldn’t figure out how to defend his own record and certainly didn’t offer any sort of a vision for what he wants to do.”

The debate in Denver has increased the intensity of Republican get-out-the-vote efforts and caused independents and undecided Democrats to take a second look at Mitt Romney because they got an “unvarnished” look at him, Kasich said.

“He was able to communicate that he is not only a smart guy who knows how to do things,” Kasich said, “but I think he touched people at a very personal level.”

Both Romney and Obama will campaign today in Ohio, a must-win state for the Republican which has trended in the president’s favor in swing-state polling — before the debate. With 67 million viewing a debate that has provided Romney a bounce in national polling, the next read of the Ohio electorate will be closely watched.


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