FACT CHECK: John Kasich’s Attack on Ted Cruz’s Government Shutdown Rings False

Republican presidential candidates (R-L) Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Jeb Bush walk onstage for the presidential candidates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo …
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich slammed Sen. Ted Cruz in Wednesday night’s debate for being willing to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood. But Kasich previously loved government shutdowns.

Kasich said that there are ways for governors to defund Planned Parenthood in their own states, but he strongly criticized the idea of a government shutdown. Kasich said that a shutdown would not accomplish anything and would only inflame people against Republicans. Kasich cited his own efforts to balance the budget, as House Budget Chairman in 1995 under Speaker Newt Gingrich, as an accomplishment that could be made without shutting down the government. Kasich said that Republicans “went around the president [Clinton]” to balance the budget.

But Kasich’s attack on Cruz rings false, because he was part of a Republican shutdown effort in 1995 that helped lead to the adoption of GOP budget priorities.

Kasich praised his own shutdown efforts in his 2006 book “Stand For Something” (pp. 86-87).

“In 1995 when the Republicans won the majority I became chairman of the House Budget Committee,” Kasich wrote. “We were poised and ready to balance the budget for the first time since man walked on the moon.”

“As it happened, Pres. Clinton wanted to phony up the numbers on this first go-round, so we shut down the government,” Kasich continued. “I look back and think it was one of the greatest moments of my career. Why? Well, typically, politicians make their decisions based on votes. And yet in at least this one instance politicians set aside these concerns and stood up for what was right. For our children. For our shared future. For America.”

“For this one battle, for the time being, we forgot about politics and focused on good government, and if we had to take a beating for it then so be it,” Kasich added. “And as a direct result of that government shutdown in 1995, we wrote a bill that provided for the first balanced budget in nearly forty years and allowed us to pay down the largest chunk of our staggering national debt in the history of this country.”