Kasich says he’s ‘not interested’ in running for president

File: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R)  (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File) File: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R)  (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) says in a new interview that he's "not interested" in running for president in 2016.

Kasich's name has been included on several early lists of potential 2016 contenders -- including on The Fix's list (he's No. 7) -- and he formed an exploratory committee for the 2000 presidential race, only to drop out after poor early fundraising.

But he said it's not on his radar right now.

"I'm flattered that people are thinking that I should run for president, but I'm not interested," he told WBNS-TV. "I'm sorry -- I'm just not interested in it."

Kasich added: "I tried to run for president back at the end of the '90s and 2000 and no one was interested. And, I really was trying. Now, I'm not interested and everyone puts your name up. So I don't know what that says about life."

Kasich, of course, has more immediate concerns, including winning a second term in this year's election. He has a solid approval rating, but is still a top target of Democrats by virtue of Ohio's status as a swing state.

Few politicians in such a situation would have the guts to talk openly about running for president during a reelection campaign -- with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) last year being the rare exception.

Kasich's opponent, Democrat Ed FitzGerald, has attempted to get Kasich to sign a document pledging to serve a full term if he's reelected.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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Aaron Blake · March 12, 2014

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