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Chief Strategist of George W. Bush's Campaign Talks Kasich, Trump And His New Book

Karl Rove talks to people standing in line at his Statehouse book signing.
Karen Kasler
/
Ohio Public Radio
Karl Rove talks to people standing in line at his Statehouse book signing.

The chief strategist behind President George W. Bush’s campaigns has written a book about another president – Ohio’s William McKinley, elected in 1896. He was at the Statehouse today to sign that book.

 Karl Rove says for John Kasich to gain traction in this campaign, it’s not about beating Donald Trump – it’s about connecting with voters about who he is and what he believes in.

“And there’s plenty of time to make that happen. John McCain was not polling particularly well in New Hampshire at this point in 2000, and people come from nowhere – witness Rick Santorum in Iowa in 2012. These early states, they make up their minds late.”

Rove says he doesn’t think Trump will be the nominee, but if he is, Rove says the party faces what he calls a “very uphill climb."

The chief strategist behind President George W. Bush’s campaigns was in Ohio this week – and is talking about the current Republican race for president. Karl Rove says he thinks Gov. John Kasich has a better chance of moving up in the GOP contest than current frontrunner Donald Trump, but it all hinges on one state.

“Well, depends on New Hampshire and he’s put all his chips on the table there. He’s got to do really well there and break through. And the good news for him is that, people are capable of getting that done. Witness John McCain 2000, who beat the frontrunner by 19 points in the state. The question is, in this crowded field, can he do it – which is why we have campaigns.”

Rove has written a book about another president – Ohio’s William McKinley, elected in 1896 – an election he says was one of the defining elections in US history. He’s been touring Ohio to sign and promote the book.