Elections

John Kasich: Remarks on Muslims doom Trump’s presidential hopes

Presidential candidate and Ohio governor John Kasich answers questions from the audience at the Conservative Leadership Project at The Crown Reef Resort in Myrtle Beach on Tuesday.
Presidential candidate and Ohio governor John Kasich answers questions from the audience at the Conservative Leadership Project at The Crown Reef Resort in Myrtle Beach on Tuesday. jlee@thesunnews.com

Donald Trump’s demand that all Muslims be banned from entering the U.S. because of recent terror attacks in California and Paris will break his support among the Republican party faithful, GOP presidential hopeful John Kasich said Tuesday.

The Ohio governor was in Myrtle Beach to address the Conservative Leadership Project forum on constitutional and Supreme Court issues. Kasich told reporters after the luncheon that Trump’s proposal is a non-starter and that his days as the party frontrunner are numbered.

“I don’t believe that he will be the nominee of the party; I’ve been saying this for a long time,” Kasich said. “People are now beginning to wake up and say that this dividing is not acceptable. I’ve been saying it for weeks before anybody else ever thought to pay attention to it, and I’m glad I started it.”

“For those that support him, that’s their choice. I’m not going to go give them a lecture; they’ll figure it out,” Kasich said.

I don’t care what the guy does, but we’re not going to do well in this country if we continue to pull each other apart.

Presidential candidate John Kasich

Kasich was referring to one Trump supporter in the audience of about 150 who gathered at the Crown Reef Resort and Conference Center who confronted him during the luncheon question period about his criticism of the populist New Yorker. “Every time you call Mr. Trump crazy, you’re calling me crazy,” said the woman, who did not identify herself.

Trump issued a press release Monday calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. “until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.” Trump’s comments drew criticism from fellow GOP presidential contenders, and a White House spokesman said Trump’s statement should disqualify him from holding the office of president.

Trump defended his proposal on Tuesday, comparing it to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s immigration policies with Germany, Italy and Japan during World War II, the New York Times reported.

Kasich said the GOP frontrunner is dividing the party and the nation over his comments. The audience applauded Kasich’s comments that name-calling and insults would not heal the nation.

“I don’t care what the guy does, but we’re not going to do well in this country if we continue to pull each other apart,” Kasich told the audience. “The politics of division is weakening our country.”

Bureaucrats shouldn’t be making law.

Presidential candidate John Kasich

If elected president, Kasich vowed to return power to the states on issues like transportation, education and welfare, and to strip Washington Beltway bureaucrats of regulatory powers that he says is crippling small business across the country. “Bureaucrats shouldn’t be making laws,” Kasich sad.

Kasich also pledged to freeze the federal government agency regulatory process for a year and force Congress to vote on rules that would cost more than $100 million to implement. “These are the things that are killing small businesses,” Kasich said. “The idea that unelected bureaucrats can do all this, this is a really bad idea.”

Kasich said that federal gas taxes should not be collected locally and sent back to Washington for Congress to waste. Rather, the money should stay with the state where road repair and construction priorities are decided.

“Why run all this stuff out of Washington?” Kasich asked. “Education ought to be run in South Carolina, Medicaid ought to be run in South Carolina (and) transportation.”

“It shouldn’t be someone in Washington trying to decide what should be happening in South Carolina. I feel very strongly about the ability of states to mange their own infrastructure,” Kasich said.

On the role of the Supreme Court, Kasich said justices should be interpreting the law, not creating new ones. He did not elaborate on the qualities he would like to see in future nominees.

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