Appearing on CNN’s Newsroom on Thursday, Ohio Governor John Kasich stated that “The Lord doesn’t want” Americans to build walls around the country and wants Americans to welcome the migrant caravan headed to the United States from Central America.
CNN host Poppy Harlow asked Kasich about President Trump’s popularity despite his “continued attacks and divisiveness,” asking, ‘Despite these continued attacks and divisiveness from the president, his poll numbers are going up. How do you explain it?”
Well, first of all, there’s a big chunk of the country that doesn’t support him. So let’s — let’s just kind of look at where things are inside the Republican Party, it’s shrunken. And you know, look, things have also become very tribal. Here’s what bothers me. You know, we have a caravan coming north. We don’t want all those people coming across our border, and there are ways to deal with it. I believe if we could check those who are legitimately in need of asylum, could be vetted before they even get to the border. But you know what? We’re born in America. You know how lucky we are to be born in America and not be born in Guatemala where they would say to your daughter, you know, if you don’t do what we want, we will rape your daughter or we will kill your son if he’s not a drug mule? Now they’re marching north, and you know what? It could easily have been all of us, that we’re in the caravan, that we’re marching north trying to save our families and save our children.
We’ve got to start putting ourselves in the shoes of other people. We’ve got to start thinking about the consequences that others suffer. And if we have been spared those by the grace of God, let us be appreciative, let us count our blessings, and let us reach out to those who have less. And let’s stop putting up walls around ourselves and not understanding the plight, the trouble, and the problems of others. It is not right. And the Lord doesn’t want it, and our people at their hearts want to reach out to others. Look at what they do in these storms. They go and they rescue people they don’t know. They put them in their homes. They feed them. That’s America. Not all this garbage and this division and yelling and screaming and hatred on all sides. I guess I feel strongly about this. This stuff’s been bubbling up in me for a long time.”
Host Jim Sciutto asked, “Your passion is clear there. I’m going to ask you this directly — are you going to challenge President Trump in 2020?”
You know, Jim, the answer to that is I don’t have an idea what I’m going to do. For this reason: Right now I have a voice and it’s by the grace of God I’ve earned the voice. And I don’t want it to be diminished. I’ll tell you something, one way or another, I’m not gonna go away. Do I have to be in elected office or run as a politician to have a voice? I’m not convinced of that, but we’ll see. All options are on the table. I don’t know. But I know this, I’m going to rally the people as best I can in the community, to bring out the best in them, to realize that when we solve our problems where we live, we don’t care about party identification and philosophy. All we care about then is making a better life for our families and our children. That is what I will be dedicated to doing.
In February 2016, during the Republican primary debate in South Carolina, Kasich seemed to have a different view regarding the border. He stated, “First of all, I’m for sealing the border, ok? And, then I’m for a guest worker program. People can come in, work, and go back home. We haven’t closed the border because special interests, I believe, blocked it.”