September 20th, 2015
11:16 AM ET

Gov Kasich on POTUS religion rhetoric: "I believe the president is a Christian. Enough of that - I just don't like that kind of rhetoric."

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful, Governor John Kasich (R-OH), joined anchor, Jake Tapper.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Gov. John Kasich on State of the Union: Full interview

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Governor John Kasich (R-OH), 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful, on his comments about his Hispanic hotel maid: “Look, if I have to be clear about it.  I'm just trying to say that, in the course of a presidential campaign, I'm glad that I don't move so fast that I ignore people.  And my views on our Hispanic friends across this country have been very positive.  They are impactful in so many different ways. And, as you know, my position on immigration has been one that - that's intended to keep families together and to give them a good place in American society. So, you know, if somebody needs me to clarify that, that's fine, but I have great respect for them.  I think they are an important fabric of America.”

Gov. Kasich on President Obama’s religion rhetoric: “Look, I ran for reelection and I don't even know that I uttered the name Barack Obama.  And you don't hear me saying much about it. I don't agree with him, but I don't believe those things.  And if somebody said that, I would correct them immediately and frankly the president is an American.  I believe the president is a Christian.  And enough of that.  You know, I just don't like that kind of rhetoric. So I may not agree with the president on many issues, but I sure respect the office and, you know, and I respect the man, even though I don't agree with him so much of the time.”

Gov. Kasich on the Iran deal: “I think they ought to go to the nuclear option in the United States Senate, that being that they should declare this a big constitutional issue and whether this agreement is put into effect or not, it ought to be decided by 51 votes, not by 60 votes or some filibuster. And some people would say well, that's not really good.  Well, this has happened before on the passage of judges.  And when it comes to a treaty this critical, one that I so strongly oppose, I think the Republicans in the  Senate ought to say that we are not going to permit this to be blocked because of a filibuster. There ought to be a vote and there ought to be extreme measures taken in the United States Senate to achieve it.  It is really critical.  And if that happens, then the Senate will have its say.  The president may veto it.  And then the American people will have more to say, because I don't meet many American people - many people here in the country who like this agreement.  They think it endangers our allies and us.”

Gov. Kasich on veterans’ care: “I, first of all, think we need to expand the voucher program so a veteran can get the health care they need as soon as they can possibly get it and should not be just limited to the VA hospitals. Secondly, my sense is you're going to have to decentralize the VA.  And this would be a case, I believe, where we've got to get some of the smartest business minds in the country together to create a model.  And that model is going to be more decentralized. But I think it's essential that we expand the voucher program, so that if I'm a veteran and I need help, I can go to any hospital, any care faculty as quickly as I can be admitted and get in there and get the care I need. And the veterans are our golden employees.  They're our golden citizens.  What they do for our country, this is - this is a terrible, terrible situation and they ought to be our highest priority.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Ohio Governor John Kasich is currently under fire from some left-leaning Latino groups for a comment he made about Hispanic workers, specifically the maid at his hotel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  And a lot of them do jobs that - that they are willing to do. And that's why, in the hotel, you leave a little tip when they - this lady wrote - in my hotel there in L.A., she wrote this note.  It said, "I really want you to know that I care about your stay." That is just - is that just like the greatest thing?  We can learn a lot.  And she's Hispanic.  And I - because I didn't know it at the time, but I met her in the hallway, asked her if I could get a little bit more soap.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  So, let's bring him in, Governor John Kasich of Ohio. Governor, thanks for joining us.

I want to start with those remarks.  You were very obviously given - giving an impassioned talk about inclusiveness, which I know is important to you.  But you ended up discussing tipping a Latino hotel maid for giving you extra soap. Hillary Clinton responded in Spanish on Twitter.  Translated, her tweet says: "Another product of the party of Trump.  John Kasich talking about Latinos doesn't just mean talking about tips." Do you regret your remarks?

KASICH:  Look, if - I have to be clear about it.  I'm just trying to say that, in the course of a presidential campaign, I'm glad that I don't move - move so fast that - that I ignore people.  And my views on - on our Hispanic friends across this country have been very positive.  They are impactful in so many different ways. And, as you know, my position on immigration has been one that - that's intended to keep families together and to give them a good place in American society. So, you know, if somebody needs me to clarify that, that's fine, but I have great respect for them.  I think they are an important fabric of America.

TAPPER:  In your opening remarks on Wednesday night, you deftly included the big, enormous prop behind us, mentioning that you had flown on Air Force One with President Reagan as a young congressman. Given that the Republican electorate has elevated these three candidates who are not politicians, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson - with zero elected experience, do you think at all that your years in government, which obviously go back to the Reagan era, are a hindrance in this race?

KASICH:  Well, you know, Jake, as you know from having followed me over the years, I'm fundamentally a reformer.  I always have.  I've been in there to shake things up and I did it - I - I've done it throughout my entire career, never worried about polls or, you know, popularity.  My whole deal is to improve things. And it's so interesting because I'm both an inside and an outside player.  My whole point at pointing to the airplane is at the end of the day, you need a pilot who can deliver change.  And I've done it, you know, it sounds like a cliche.  I hate to use cliches.  But throughout my career, whether it's balancing the budget, being involved in major defense reform or turning Ohio around, I hope that gives me the credibility so people know when I'm president, I know how to move power, money and influence out of Washington, how to bring about the reforms we need and understand how that system works.

TAPPER:  If you were at a town hall meeting and somebody stood up and made comments that seemed to suggest that President Obama was a Muslim, even though he obviously is not, and that there is something wrong with Muslims in general, how do you think you would react?

(LAUGHTER)

KASICH:  You know how I would react, Jake. Look, I ran for reelection and I don't even know that I uttered the words - the name Barack Obama.  And you - you don't hear me saying much about it. I don't agree with him, but I don't believe those things.  And if somebody said that, I would correct them immediately and frankly, it's - the president is an American.  I believe the president is a Christian.  And enough of that.  You know, I just don't like that kind of rhetoric. So I may not agree with the president on many issues, but I sure respect the office and, you know, and I respect the man, even though I don't agree with him so much - so much of the time.

TAPPER:  There was a - a big moment during the debate with you and Senator Ted Cruz talking about the Iranian deal, the idea of whether it could be ripped up on day one, you talking about more making sure that it's enforced and getting rid of it if the Iranians are violating the deal. At this point right now, though, do you think there's anything Congress can do, anything Republicans can - who oppose the Iran deal can do?

KASICH:  Yes, I think - I think there is, Jake.  Look, you and I both understand Capitol Hill.  And we know there's certain decorum, particularly in the United States Senate.  But frankly, I think they ought to go to the nuclear option in the United States Senate, that being that they should declare this a big constitutional issue and whether this agreement is put into effect or not, it ought to be decided by 51 votes, not by 60 votes or some filibuster. And some people would say well, that's not really good.  Well, this has happened before on the passage of judges.  And when it comes to a treaty this critical, one that I so strongly oppose, I think the Republicans in the Senate ought to say that we are not going to permit this to be blocked because of a filibuster. There ought to be a vote and there ought to be extreme measures taken in the United States Senate to achieve it.  It is really critical.  And if that happens, then the Senate will have its say.  The president may veto it.  And then the American people will have more to say, because I don't meet many American people - many people here in the country who like this agreement.  They think it endangers our allies and us.

TAPPER:  Obviously, we're - we are all very upset by the stories about veterans not getting the care that they have earned through the VA system and a new report from the VA inspector general, more than 300,000 veterans died while waiting for care. Dr. Ben Carson...

KASICH:  That's unbelievable.

TAPPER:  Yes.  Dr. Ben Carson essentially called for closing the VA and folding in most health care for veterans into the Pentagon. You have a lot of experience in government.  Do you think that plan would work?  What would you do?

KASICH:  Well, I, first of all, think we need to expand the voucher program so a veteran can get the health care they need as soon as they can possibly get it and should not be just limited to the VA hospitals. Secondly, my sense is you're going to have to decentralize the VA.  And this would be a case, I believe, where we've got to get some of the smartest business minds in the country together to create a model.  And that model is going to be more decentralized. But I think it's essential that we expand the voucher program, so that if I'm a veteran and I need help, I can go to any hospital, any care faculty as quickly as I can be admitted and get in there and get the care I need. And the veterans are our golden employees.  They're our golden citizens.  What they do for our country, this is - this is a terrible, terrible situation and they ought to be our highest priority.

TAPPER:  Ohio Governor John Kasich, thank you so much. We'll see you out there on the campaign trail, sir.

KASICH:  OK.  Thanks, Jake.  Thank you very much.

TAPPER:  Thank you, sir.

###END INTERVIEW###

 


Topics: CNN • Jake Tapper • State of the Union
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