Kasich on Trump: ‘I’ll Be ... Forced Going Forward to Talk About Some of the Deep Concerns’

‘You’re not going to ruin my day after I voted myself for president’


COSTELLO: “... along those lines — wait a second, wait a second. John Kasich has come out. He’s speaking to reporters. Let’s listen for a moment.”
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KASICH: “They’ll vote for my reelection.”
REPORTER: “What’s the biggest surprise of your first national race?”
KASICH: “Well, I’d say the biggest surprise has been the fact that I found how many people out there are lonely and don’t seem to have anybody that listens to them and spends time with them or encourages them. That’s been the biggest surprise in the race. I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of people who just would like to be made to feel special. And it’s been a great thing to see.”
REPORTER: “What do you have to say to Donald Trump today?”
KAISCH: “You’re not going to ruin my day after I voted myself for president. I have nothing to say to him.”
REPORTER: “A lot of work leading up to today. How do you feel?”
KASICH: “I feel great. We’re going to win. I feel terrific. It’s great. Do I seem like I’m nervous or up tight? I’m having a great time.”
REPORTER: “What does it feel like to vote for yourself for president?”
KASICH: “I learned that you need to vote for yourself because if you don’t, you could lose. It felt very nice. I mean, it’s a long road for me, and I’m — I am very, very humbled by the campaign and the experience and the attention, attention and success can be very, very dangerous if it’s not handled the right way, and so I try to check myself all the time and make sure that I’m handling it the right way, which is to be appreciative of the opportunity — “
REPORTER: “[indecipherable]”
KASICH: “Can I finish? (Laughter) Look, it’s all about keeping your feet on the ground. All the opportunities that you have are really a blessing, and grace, and that’s what matters. Everybody here, this is our moment in time, and before we know it, we’ll all be gone. We do the best we can while we’re here, but you have to watch all the time when you get a lot of attention. You know, the proverbs say unguarded stranger is a person’s greatest weakness. I have a lot of good friends around me.”
REPORTER: “You were in your hometown last night in a rally. What are you hearing from them last night? What do they have to say about having you come home for the election?”
KASICH: “Well, I mean, I think people are proud. You know, it’s really interesting, because I’ve been asked do you regret the fact that you’ve been so positive in the campaign, and we all know that by the fact that I ran a positive campaign, or our team has run a positive campaign, that there were probably missed opportunities to get attention early on. But by continuing to run the race, the positive campaign is now starting to shine through like a beacon, all over the country, and as a result of that, it tells you you do the right thing even when sometimes — first of all, I was never tempted to go negative. That was never a temptation. In the third debate, I was the first one to challenge Donald Trump for his position on immigration and Ben Carson’s position on Medicare.”
REPORTER: “What’s next for you?”
KASICH: “Can I finish? Sometimes I take time to think before I finish. But running a positive campaign has been really, really good, and I think my neighbors have been proud of me. I know my daughters are, and my wife. I will be, however, forced going forward to talk about some of the deep concerns I have about the way this campaign has been run by some others, by one other in particular. But today is not the day to do that. I’ve been very concerned. I just saw a commercial, I guess it was last night, of these comments that were made about women. I have two daughters. They see this stuff. What do you think they think? I’ll have more to say about that, but that’s going to be not designed to be negative as much as it is to point out things that I’ve seen that are deeply disturbing in this process, and I think I have a right to do that as a candidate, but in terms of rolling around in the mud, that’s not where I intend to really ever go even in the fall election.”
REPORTER: “What’s next after Ohio, after you win?”
KASICH: “We’re going to Pennsylvania tomorrow.”
REPORTER: “Governor you’ve been teasing you’re going to see more on this the last few days.”
KASICH: “I’m not teasing anything. We don’t do strategic things about what I say. Have you noticed? I say what I want to say when I want to say it. I don’t know. I’m building things up in my mind. I’m thinking.”
REPORTER: “Are you saying you weren’t aware of these things before?”
KASICH: “I really was not. I wasn’t. I think you even asked that Jake said something in the debate. I’m not really paying that much attention to that. It took for me to see the Friday video, and then I actually 48 hours ago asked Chris Shrimf to give me a list of all the quotes, which I had not really seen before. Things move fast in a presidential campaign. You don’t really focus on — I focus on what I’m going to be doing at my next event. I’m focused on who is winning the golf tournament that I’m interested in, and that’s about it. I mean, I don’t really focus on what somebody else is doing in some other campaign. So it was really the first time that my eyes were really opened which meant I was probably like a Normal voter, to be honest with you.”
REPORTER: “Governor, why do you continue to say you were the first one to take an Donald Trump. By that Scott — Scott Walker and Rick Perry had gone after Trump.”
KASICH: “OK, maybe they did.”
REPORTER: “Carly Fiorina had had her interaction with Trump.”
KASICH: “But that was a different thing. That was sort of name calling. I brought up the issue of immigration. Right down here in Westerville, you hadn’t been assigned to the campaign yesterday. They didn’t know we existed. Some of you were down there at the rally. Remember that? Before the debate. And reed, in all seriousness, that’s when I started to point out the differences on immigration, and, again, that was when Ben Carson said, we don’t have to have Medicare anymore. Look, I’m just saying this was not something that I ignored. In terms of what I saw on Friday night and what I’ve seen since then, reading these quotes, it’s taken me to another level.”
REPORTER: “Why are you waiting?”
KASICH: “You don’t even know what I’m going to say. The people will know. When I feel like I want to say something, then I’ll say it. That’s the end of it. OK? I don’t operate on somebody else’s time line or schedule, including reacting to events. I react on my time line and my schedule because when you’re governor of the 7th largest state, you learn to be cool about things.”
REPORTER: “Do you think people will ask for Democrat or Republican ballots? Will they switch parties to vote for you?”
KASICH: “One lady told me she was. She didn’t know where we were, Youngstown, and a lady made me some hard boiled eggs and said I really wish I could vote for you but I’m a Democrat. I said you can switch tomorrow. She said well, I will. And I’m going to call my sister.”
REPORTER: “Governor, has Pete Rose talked about endorsing you at all?”
KASICH: “Haven’t talked to Pete Rose. But Arnold tweeted some cool stuff out. I guess he tweeted something out today telling people that they need to vote. That was cool. I just got Earl Bruce and Irvin Meyer. When I win here today, maybe I can get Barkley to come over. I would like to travel with the round mound of rebound. Let me tell you one other thing. In all seriousness, let me tell you one other thing. It really is pretty amazing. Where I came from, we all hear these stories. The stories could be about you too. This one just happens to be about me. To have started here as an aide all the way back to Nixon and all the way back to church and back to my family, and then to come in here today and cast a vote for yourself for president of the United States, it’s pretty remarkable. But at the same time I say it, I just want you all to understand if any of you ever see me, and I — I had apologized to somebody here just the other day because I wasn’t — didn’t respond as appropriately as I should have. If any of you ever see me getting out of control, I want you to take me aside and I want you to say remember what you told us at that press conference, okay? I just want to be a good guy. Helping my country is all I really want to do. OK? Thank you all very much.”
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