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Dec 10, 2015 6:58 PM

Steinhauser: Kasich tells NH1 News 'I'd be at 50%' with Trump's airtime

NH1 Political Director -

GOFFSTOWN – John Kasich predicts that Donald Trump isn’t “going to be the nominee.”

And the Ohio governor and Republican presidential candidate who speaks his mind calls the GOP front runner’s idea to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the United States “absurd, it’s a crazy idea.”

Kasich made his comments Thursday in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News.

Trump’s come under attack from Democrats and from fellow Republicans since Monday, when he announced his stunning proposal in the wake of last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Authorities say the Muslim couple behind the attack that left 14 people dead had been radicalized and were sympathetic to ISIS.

Kasich said that Trump’s latest controversial comments “follows on with attacks on Hispanics and data bases for Muslims and insults to women. We don’t need to divide the country.”

“I hope that he will change his message and become positive. But at the end, if it stays negative, Hillary Clinton will probably be president. And I don’t like to see that if he were the nominee. I don’t think he’s going to be the nominee. I haven’t talked to any serious people in New Hampshire who really think he’ll even win here. We’ll see what happens. But negative is not what we need in America today. We need unifying. I mean that’s how we’re at our best when we’re unified,” Kasich added.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told reporters on Tuesday that Trump is playing the media like a “Stradivarius violin.”

And Kasich said on Wednesday the media was “fawning” all over Trump.

Asked by NH1 News if he’s pointing fingers at the media, Kasich said “all I’m saying to you is if you put me on the air as much as you put Donald Trump on the air, I’d be at 50% support, because whether we like it or not we live in a largely celebrity culture and when he gets all the attention, causes good ratings and people get to watch, it’s an element of this. But I don’t blame anybody. In the end voters will decide what they want and I believe they’ll ultimately opt for experience.”

And Kasich has plenty of experience. The two-term Ohio governor also served nearly two decades in Congress. He has one of most extensive political resumes of any candidate in the 14-person GOP presidential field.

But with a Republican primary electorate that’s angry at Washington and worried about terrorism here at home, it’s an outsider like Trump who’s remained the clear front runner in public opinion polling since July.

“I think he’s tapped into a fear and an anger in the voters, that people are frustrated, they’ve seen their wealth deteriorate, they’re worried their kids can’t get a job. Yeah, absolutely. But you have to have good positive solutions and you know I’ve proposed them whether it’s my economic plan or keeping America safe,” said Kasich.

Kasich's plan to take down ISIS

Kasich spoke with NH1 News one day after laying out his plans to defeat ISIS at a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.

Kasich was critical of those who advocate for air power alone in the fight against ISIS.

“You’re not going to win the war against ISIS from the air. That’s a fantasy. We need air power. We need strong air power, but we need to be on the ground and we can’t go alone. We need to put a coalition together and people who think that somebody else can do this with the exclusion of us are just wrong. I mean look, I don’t like to have to say this but the longer we delay, the harder this is going to be and the more costly it’s going to be,” Kasich told NH1 News.

“If you’re going to defeat ISIS you gotta have a Gulf War One coalition made up of Arabs and westerners who want to go and take this group out. At the same time here at home we need to be much more, give all the tools that are needed to law enforcement, our counter terrorism groups. We know that that couple in San Bernardino was communicating with people who were being watched, but yet we couldn’t pick up their communication. We need to deal with the problem of encryption. It’s going to require technology companies. It’s going to require law enforcement. It’s going to require the legislature to fix this problem,” he said.

But Kasich added that what’s also needed is “a message to tell the world about who we are as a people, westerners, that we believe in quality for women and we believe in education and science and freedom of speech. I mean this is who we are and we need to tell the world about that. So kill ISIS, give the tools to law enforcement here, and win the battle of ideas around the world and that’s what we need to be doing with very close cooperation with all of our friends and allies.

Kasich spoke with NH1 News in front of his campaign bus, moments before headlining a “Life of the Party” forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Asked what he does on the weekends, the Ohio governor joked to the audience “what do I do on the weekends. I come to New Hampshire. That’s what I do on the weekends.”

While he’s campaigning in the other early voting states, Kasich is concentrating much of his efforts on the first-in-the-nation primary state. The forum at the NHIOP was his first public event in a two-day swing. Kasich returns to the Granite State Dec. 20-21.

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