DES MOINES, June 24, 2015 - Ohio Governor John Kasich made it clear Wednesday that he does not like subsidies, particularly anything supporting ethanol.

In response to a question about his position on ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard, Kasich said, “I don’t know much about the Renewable Fuel Standard and what all that means, but we have it in Ohio and I’ve never supported that (ethanol) subsidy. But I’m not there to shut it down and put a bunch of people out of work in my state.”

The Republican went on say he hopes the so-called “subsidy” fades away.” I’m not big on subsidies. In the meantime, I have people working there (in that industry) so let’s try to work it all out.  I don’t think it’s appropriate to continue it in the long term. But you have to have a reasonable solution.”

Kasich, who won re-election last fall and has not yet announced his candidacy for the presidency, was in Iowa to test the waters. He spoke at the 2016 Iowa Caucus Consortium, a partnership of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, The Des Moines Register and Drake University. The Consortium has offered the opportunity to all presidential candidates to speak at a forum during the coming months. Kasich was the first to accept the invitation.

Answering the question on ethanol in the press conference was his only reference to agriculture in a state where over 90 percent of the land base is devoted to farming.

TESTING THE WATERS:  Ohio Governor John Kasich spoke at a candidate forum in Des Moines and attended several other events in Iowa 
Later, in a 45-minute forum attended by around 150 supporters, Kasich touted his accomplishments in the U.S. House of Representatives (1983-2001), including his work as chairman of the Budget Committee developing the plan that balanced the federal budget for the first time since man walked on the moon. He spoke of his accomplishments as governor of Ohio including eliminating an $8 billion budget shortfall – the largest in state history – without raising taxes.

He said his vision for America includes giving power back to local communities, getting the federal budget under control, growing the economy and keeping America safe.

On immigration – one of the hot button topics in this election cycle -- Kasich said undocumented immigrants should be required to register and possibly pay a penalty.

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“It’s not practical to load them on a bus and dump them off at the border. I keep wondering why we have so much difficulty protecting our border and I spend a lot of time working on how to strengthen it.”

Kasich said he “felt the call” to run for governor after being in the private sector for about 10 years. He didn’t say if he felt the call to run for president, but did say he has is working on his message, that he’s optimistic, and that he will make the decision about whether to run in the not-too-distant future.

“I won’t run unless I think I can win,” he emphasized.