Kasich: "I really don't watch Trump rallies.  I don't watch the news.  I basically watch the Golf Channel when I'm traveling, believe it or not, but when I saw the violence in Chicago, I just had enough"
March 13th, 2016
12:11 PM ET

Kasich: "I really don't watch Trump rallies. I don't watch the news. I basically watch the Golf Channel when I'm traveling, believe it or not, but when I saw the violence in Chicago, I just had enough"


Today on CNN’s State of the Union, Governor John Kasich (R-OH), GOP presidential candidate, joined anchor, Jake Tapper to discuss Trump’s rallies and the Ohio primary.

 

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”

 

Contacts: Lauren Pratapas — Lauren.Pratapas@turner.com; 202.465.6666; Zachary Lilly – Zachary.Lilly@turner.com; Brooke Lorenz- Brooke.Lorenz@turner.com

 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

State of the Union: Gov. John Kasich full interview

 

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS
Kasich on the state of Trump’s rallies: “Well, there's no question that Donald Trump has created a toxic atmosphere pitting one group against another and name calling and all those kinds of things. Now, I think there are people that would go to a rally who would look to disrupt, but, look, the environment is there, and he needs to back off of this and start being more aspirational, telling people we can get it together…Well, Jake, look, in those debates I hear this and that, but it  took me to see on Friday night what was happening at that arena.  I mean, I really don't watch Trump rallies.  I don't watch the news.  I basically watch the Golf Channel when I'm traveling, believe it or not, but when I saw the violence in Chicago, I just had enough. And you might recall, it was in the third debate where I started saying that Trump was dividing us.”

Kasich on NAFTA and free trade: “I think that NAFTA has basically been a wash.  I don't think we can walk away from free trade, but we have to be for fair trade.  And what I've said is when countries violate our trade agreements, we need to have an expedited process to hold them accountable and protect the jobs of the American worker. In 2001, I helped the steel companies achieve a 201 which was basically a trade block to let the companies be stronger and get together.  I have been a free trader, but I have been a fair trader, and if you go back and talk to my colleagues in congress they will tell you that.  But we're not going to lock the doors or pull down the blinds and let the rest of the world go away. There's 38 million people who have jobs connected to trade.”

Kasich on the race in Florida and Ohio: [TAPPER]: “So Rubio seeming to encourage his supporters in Ohio to back you, but you're not encouraging your supporters in Florida to back him.  Why not?”

[KASICH]: “Well, Jake, I mean, my people aren't like robots where go do this, go do that.  I mean, I'm not really campaigning in Florida.  I tried to actually call Marco last night to wish him good luck.  I couldn't get through to him. But, look, at the end of the day how do you tell your people that are for you to go vote for somebody else?  And after all, I'm not into a stop Trump as more as I am be for Kasich movement.  Reward me for the experience in foreign affairs, reward me for the achievements I have had in balancing budgets and creating an environment for job creation both in the country and in Ohio.  Reward me for that, for cutting taxes for having wages grow faster than the national average.  Those are the things that I want people to think about as opposed to be against that person.  I'm just trying to be be for me.  I have run an unwaveringly positive campaign since I got in this and some of the time I operated in total obscurity.”


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: Let's look ahead to Tuesday and talk about the wild weekend on the campaign trail with Ohio Governor John Kasich who joins me now live from Cleveland, Ohio.  Sorry that you're not here in Columbus, sir.

 

KASICH:  Yes.  I mean, it's my home.  I live in a little town called Westerville which is just not far from you and you're at my alma mater and I’m up in Cleveland which is a resurgent city in the Midwest.  It really is doing great, Jake.

 

TAPPER:  Let's talk about some of the issues emerging this weekend on the campaign trail.  Donald Trump is blaming protesters entirely for the chaos that broke out Friday in Chicago.  He says his people are not violent.  It's - quote - "These people that come in."  You have something to say about this.  What's your view?

 

KASICH:  Well, there's no question that Donald Trump has created a toxic atmosphere pitting one group against another and name calling and all those kinds of things.

 

Now, I think there are people that would go to a rally who would look to disrupt, but, look, the environment is there, and he needs to back off of this and start being more aspirational, telling people we can get it together.  You know, at my - at my - at my events, any of my town halls, rallies, or whatever, I tell people that, you know, we can solve these problems, and I have got a record that shows it.

 

Whether it was in Washington creating jobs, you know, creating an environment for job creation in Ohio where we're up over 400,000 jobs.

 

Jake, you can go into a room and get people depressed and down and angry or you can walk into that room with the same people and you can lift them and give them hope.  And I think we need to be hopeful in America, not depressed.

 

TAPPER:  So I asked about this on Thursday night at the debate, about the violence at Trump rallies, reading some of the quotes that Trump has said about violent ways to deal with protesters, and with all due respect, sir, you didn't say what you're saying now at the debate.  Do you think you missed ed an opportunity to condemn Trump's rhetoric before a much wider audience?

 

KASICH:  Well, Jake, look, in those debates I hear this and that, but it  took me to see on Friday night what was happening at that arena.  I mean, I really don't watch Trump rallies.  I don't watch the news.  I basically watch the Golf Channel when I'm traveling, believe it or not, but when I saw the violence in Chicago, I just had enough.

 

And you might recall, it was in the third debate where I started saying that Trump was dividing us.  I also said that Ben Carson's plans on Medicare were  outrageous.  And so I have made my point, but when I saw the violence, Jake, I felt compelled to really say something about it.  And I'm very comfortable with  the fact that I waited until I felt it was necessary for me to say something.

 

And, look, that's what I have got to say about it.  It's just not the road I take.

 

But you know what?  When you have a record of having success in relieving the frustrations of people, and let's face it, they're worried about keeping their job, they're worried about their wages, they're worried about they're not getting any interest in the banks, they're worried about their kids' future, you cannot win them by trashing Donald Trump or being negative.  You have got to explain to them  carefully, your vision, your record, your accomplishments, and what you can do.  And that's the path that I have taken.

 

TAPPER:  So Donald Trump has been hammering you on the issue of trade, specifically here in Ohio.  You were asked about NAFTA back the summer and you said, quote, I think we have in some ways been saps.  What were you thinking back in '93 when NAFTA passed?  And why did it not pan out the way you had hoped?

 

KASICH:  No, no.  I think that NAFTA has basically been a wash.  I don't think we can walk away from free trade, but we have to be for fair trade.  And what I've said is when countries violate our trade agreements, we need to have an expedited process to hold them accountable and protect the jobs of the American worker.

 

In 2001, I helped the steel companies achieve a 201 which was basically a trade block to let the companies be stronger and get together.  I have been a free trader, but I have been a fair trader, and if you go back and talk to my colleagues in congress they will tell you that.  But we're not going to lock the doors or pull down the blinds and let the rest of the world go away.

 

There's 38 million people who have jobs connected to trade.  And, by the way, Jake, on Friday night I stood in a facility where the Chinese have invested a half a billion dollars and hired over 1,000 Ohioans.  Yesterday, I'm in a facility in Newark, Ohio, there where the Germans have invested.

 

We have a lot of foreign investment in our country.  Ford brought jobs back from Mexico into Ohio.

 

Look, this is a - it's a red herring, but it's all more of that negativity and just getting down, and I look up.

 

TAPPER:  There's an attack ad running against you here in Ohio.  The Trump campaign.  It accuses you of helping Wall Street predator Lehman Brothers destroy the world economy.  Now, I know you have said that you were just a guy in a two-person office in Columbus.  Let me ask you a broad question.  Who do you blame for the economic collapse of 2007-2008?

 

KASICH:  Oh, I think there was greed on Wall Street, no question about it.  They just kept taking on higher and higher leverage.  And then they couldn't keep up with it.

 

In addition to that, we had the government, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, encouraging people to buy homes that they couldn't afford.  We had the rating agencies look the other way.  I mean, it was a number of things.

 

But let me be clear about this, I think sometimes on Wall Street the pendulum swings towards greed, and I think it's terrible, and I think it's wrong, and I think that the requirements now that these big banks have to reserve against the risk they take is great.  The idea now that they have to have more equity, more ownership invested instead of piling up the debt has been a good thing.  And the regulators have to do their job.

 

I mean, they were out there before when all this was going on.  Not only did they not bite, but they didn't even bark.  So we absolutely have to keep a handle on all of this, and there were many contributors to this.  But greed, is it really a leading reason why we have problems?  Get a little bit of morality, folks, and realize that free enterprise is great, but it has to have a moral underpinning.

 

TAPPER:  Let's talk about the primary race here.  Marco Rubio talked about you on Friday.  Take a listen.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

RUBIO:  Clearly John Kasich has a better chance of winning Ohio than I do, and if a voter in Ohio concludes that voting for John Kasich gives us the best chance to stop Donald Trump there, I anticipate that's what they'll do.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP

 

TAPPER:  So Rubio seeming to encourage his supporters in Ohio to back you, but you're not encouraging your supporters in Florida to back him.  Why not?

 

KASICH:  Well, Jake, I mean, my people aren't like robots where go do this, go do that.  I mean, I'm not really campaigning in Florida.  I tried to actually call Marco last night to wish him good luck.  I couldn't get through to him.

 

But, look, at the end of the day how do you tell your people that are for you to go vote for somebody else?  And after all, I'm not into a stop Trump as more as I am be for Kasich movement.  Reward me for the experience in foreign affairs, reward me for the achievements I have had in balancing budgets and creating an environment for job creation both in the country and in Ohio.  Reward me for that, for cutting taxes for having wages grow faster than the national average.  Those are the things that I want people to think about as opposed to be against that person.  I'm just trying to be be for me.  I have run an unwaveringly positive campaign since I got in this and some of the time I operated in total obscurity.

 

It's okay because we're rising now.  We're rising.  We're going to win Ohio with the help of our Republicans here.  We're rising in Illinois and it's a whole new ball game after Tuesday.

 

TAPPER:  All right.  Governor John Kasich, good luck on Tuesday, sir.

 

KASICH:  Thank you, Jake.  Good luck to you.

 

 

###END INTERVIEW###

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