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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) slammed the Export-Import Bank during a public speech in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday.

The likely Republican presidential candidate joins a growing list of GOP White House aspirants in opposing the 80-year-old bank. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have all come out in opposition to renewing the bank’s charter before it expires next month.

“I don’t like the idea that if the private banks cannot make loans, that therefore the government ought to make them,” Kasich said, according to Charleston’s Post and Courier. “The big guys always want ‘freebies.’ That’s what they want. I’ve been against corporate welfare from the time I was in Congress. If you’re going to reform welfare for poor people, you ought to reform it for rich people too.”

{mosads}Conservatives have sought to portray the bank as a job-crushing, federally backed institution that finances politically well-connected businesses and limits small-business competition.

“There’s a simple message here: If a bank will not loan me the money, why should the taxpayer loan me the money?” Kasich said, according to the Post and Courier. “What does that say of the prudence of the investment to begin with?”

The business community has forged a coalition with moderate Republicans and Democrats in arguing that the bank helps small businesses that do work with larger corporations that receive the bulk of the bank’s loan commitments.

It’s unclear whether Congress will reauthorize the bank before the June 30 deadline.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who announced his presidential bid earlier Wednesday, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who is mulling a White House run, each support the bank. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton also supports the bank.  

Tags Hillary Clinton Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio

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