Kasich: I'm in a 'Struggle for the Soul' of the GOP

And if Ohio governor can't find it, he hints he may leave the party
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2017 1:17 PM CDT
Kasich Hints He'll Ditch GOP If It Can't Get Its Act Together
In this April 4, 2017, file photo, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks in Sandusky, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

John Kasich revealed over the weekend he's been doing some soul-searching, but it's not his own soul he's scrutinizing. The Ohio governor chatted with Jake Tapper Sunday morning on CNN's State of the Union, and he had harsh words for both major political parties. He admitted he had "no idea what the Democrats are for," but he was even more blunt about his own party. "I want [the GOP] to be straightened out," he said, adding that "what I'm trying to do is struggle for the soul of the Republican Party the way that I see it." And the way he sees it as it stands now is infiltrated by "divisive" far-right forces that are "anti-immigration" and "anti-trade" and not terribly concerned about debt. The conversation arose after Tapper asked Kasich if he supported Judge Roy Moore, who recently won the Alabama GOP primary for Jeff Sessions' former Senate seat.

Tapper pointed out Moore has railed against homosexuality, helped perpetuate birtherism lies about Barack Obama, and voiced anti-Muslim sentiments, per HuffPost." "I don't support that. I couldn't vote for that," Kasich replied, calling Moore's claims "ludicrous." "If the party can't be fixed, Jake, then I'm not going to be able to support the party, period," he said. "I'm worried about the country and my kids' future." He waffled, though, when Tapper asked him if he'd actually ditch the GOP. "No, not at this ... what I'm saying to you is, we need to fix it," he said. "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." Kasich also touched on Trump's Puerto Rico tweets, noting, per the Hill: "It's not appropriate. ... When people are in the middle of a disaster, you don't start trying to criticize them. ... Their lives are in danger." (More John Kasich stories.)

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