Kasich Warns He May No Longer Be Able to ‘Support’ the GOP

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) hinted me might leave the Republican Party given its positions on some issues, especially in the wake of GOP voters selecting former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore as the party’s U.S. Senate nominee for a special election later this year.

Partial transcript as follows:

JAKE TAPPER: So I get that you’re not going to support Judge Moore, but he believes that homosexual acts should be illegal.

He questions where Barack Obama was born. He’s written that Keith Ellison, the congressman from Minnesota, should not be allowed to serve in Congress because Ellison is a Muslim.

What role do you think the Republican Party should play when it comes to Roy Moore’s campaign?

KASICH: Well, look, I don’t run the party.

I can tell you for me, I don’t support that. I couldn’t vote for that. I don’t know what the heck I would have to do, but I don’t live in that state.

I mean, those claims are — I mean, they’re ludicrous, and they’re divisive. And if that’s where we’re headed then — well, first of all, we can’t — remember, I wrote that book and — “America united or divided, you know, two paths. I’m on the path to say we can fix it.

Look, Jake, you can understand the state of American politics today. It’s in the Democratic Party. It is attacks from the left in the Republican Party. It’s attacks from the right.

Now, here’s the question, is the tail wagging the dog or is that the dog? I’m certainly fighting to make sure that it’s the tail wagging the dog and the party can be fixed.

If the party can’t be fixed, Jake, then I’m not going to be able to support the party, period, that’s the end of it. I mean, I’m worried about our country and my kids’ future. I am worried.

But have I given up? Of course not. We’re doing fine here in the state of Ohio.

There are many great leaders in the Republican Party. Brian Sandoval is one that comes to mind right away. Reasonable, smart, creative, successful. That’s what we need to put out there.

TAPPER: What do you mean you’re going to give up on — what do you mean you’re going to give up on the party? Are you talking about possibly becoming an independent if the Republican Party continues to —

KASICH: No, not at this. What I’m saying to you is, we need to fix it.

If our party — if the Republican Party is going to be anti-immigration, if it’s not going to be worried about debt, if it’s going to be — if it’s going to be anti-trade, this is not where our party can be.

So I’m going to fight like everything I have to make sure — it’s why I’m on these shows because I want this party to be straightened out. But I not only want the party to be straightened out I want the country to be straightened out.

And so it’s really a battle again inside of both parties, but people are beginning to say, I don’t like either of them. And that says something big. So hopefully our party leaders will pay attention to this.

TAPPER: Sounds like some follow-up questions on a future show about your future with the Republican Party.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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