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In Southfield, Kasich says a balanced US budget is "not that hard"

Aug 31, 2015

Credit Michael Vadon / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Ohio Governor John Kasich is the latest Republican presidential candidate to pay Michigan a visit.

The former U.S. House budget chairman stopped in Southfield Monday to speak at a forum sponsored by Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security.

Kasich told the crowded room at Lawrence Technological University he wants to be careful not to make promises on the campaign trail that he's not able to follow through on as president.

However, he said there's one he can keep.

"We can balance the federal budget, build a strong defense and have a stronger economy in the United States of America," Kasich said. "I've been involved in it; it's happened before, and it will happen again."

Kasich said a balanced budget is a matter of "creating priorities."

"You fund the things that are critical to you," he said. "Why do people in Washington think it's so difficult?"

Kasich said as president, national security would be one of his top priorities, including beefing up the military. 

"I believe in a military that projects power, a military that is mobile and lethal," he said. "The army cannot shrink below where it is now. I'd like to get it up to 450 or 500 [thousand]." 

Kasich also called  for "an aggressive policy and a clear policy" to handle cyber attacks and stressed a need to scale back bureaucracy in the Pentagon.

"The Pentagon is tangled up with red tape, and it's often difficult to get systems researched, developed and deployed within a reasonable amount of time," Kasich said.

Kasich touched on a range of other topics, including Syria, foreign aid, China and the Iran nuclear deal.

The event was Kasich's second visit to Southfield in a little over a month.

He's scheduled to speak in Lansing Tuesday.