At Wednesday night’s CNBC Republican presidential debate, Ohio Governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate John Kasich answered a question on marijuana legalization by saying, “Sending kids mixed signals about drugs is a disaster.” Following Kasich’s comment, former Donald Trump campaign adviser and Republican strategist Roger Stone issued a tweet calling the answer hypocritical and claiming that he once fired Kasich from Ronald Reagan’s 1976 presidential campaign for selling marijuana to field reps.
Kasich’s campaign denied Stone’s claim and told reporters to check with political consultant Charlie Black, who also reportedly worked on Ronald Reagan’s 1976 campaign. Charlie Black told Cleveland.com that he had been Kasich’s supervisor in ’76, rather than Stone, and said Kasich “was very diligent” while campaigning for Reagan.
“This is the first time I ever heard anyone mention drugs in connection with John Kasich. He was not fired. He certainly was not fired for drugs,” said Black.
[RELATED: Ohio Recreational Pot Legalization Initiative Qualifies for Nov. 2015 Ballot]
Kasich reportedly responded to the claim himself in comments to BuzzFeed reporter Rosie Gray and said, “Look, it’s Roger Stone. He’s nuts.”
Roger Stone issued another tweet on Thursday morning, seen below, responding to Black’s denial of his claim.
Stone, who has worked in high-level positions on several Republican presidential campaigns and who has been referred to as a “legendary political hitman” according to his own website, has a history of making statements that spark controversy.
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Governor Kasich, whose state of Ohio is currently considering a referendum that would legalize marijuana for recreational use, is a vocal opponent of pot legalization. MLive.com notes that he called legalization a “terrible idea” and said of the ballot initiative, “So some drugs are okay but others aren’t? We’ve got kids. Why don’t we just say don’t do drugs, period.”
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