COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. John Kasich is doing what he can to help Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney win the battleground state — and that sometimes includes holding his tongue.
The normally vocal Kasich has seen an uptick in his approval ratings since summer. The rise has coincided with his relative silence on divisive policy changes he's advancing, including a tax increase on big oil drillers, further privatization of state functions and possible spending cuts to balance Ohio's next two-year operating budget.
The Republican governor is focusing instead on email blasts to supporters, pro-Romney op-eds, upbeat rally speeches and national TV interviews touting GOP economic policies.
In a weekend op-ed in the Plain Dealer, Kasich said casting a vote for Romney would mean spreading business-friendly policies like Ohio's across the nation and would heal the economy.
"The solution is simple. Do what we're doing here in Ohio at a national level: Cut taxes, rein in spending, pursue common-sense regulations, make government work better and get it out of the way so job creators can do what they do best — innovate, grow and create jobs," he wrote. "Mitt Romney understands this and will do it as president."
The jobs focus has side-stepped other areas of the policy agenda Kasich and fellow Republicans have in mind for the state after the election, including brewing plans to revisit an unpopular law limiting public-employee collective bargaining that Ohio voters turned back last year.