"Do you know how crazy this election is?" he shouted during a pre-debate rally in Ohio on Tuesday. "Let me tell you something. I've about had it with these people. Let me tell you why. We got one candidate that says we ought to abolish Medicaid and Medicare. You ever heard anything so crazy as that, telling our people in this country who are seniors or about to be seniors that we're going to abolish Medicaid or Medicare," Kasich continued, referencing Ben Carson who has changed his opinion on the matter seemingly overnight.
"We got one guy that says we ought to take 10 or 11 million people and pick them up, where the—I don't know where, we're going to go in their homes, their apartments. We're going to pick them up and we're going to take them to the border and scream at them to get out of our country," Kasich said in an obvious dig at frontrunner Donald Trump. "Well that's just crazy. That is just crazy."
"We got one candidate that claimed, one candidate that actually said that the reason why we signed an agreement with Ford to bring jobs back from Mexico is because he's been yelling for the last week ok," Kasich said again referencing Trump to uproarious laughter. "That was like something out of a Back to the Future movie."
Kasich's communications director Chris Schrimpf told The Daily Beast "Part of being President is speaking the truth to the American people. That's what Governor Kasich did today."
Kasich is trying to play to the sane Republicans, and while there are sane voters left in the GOP ranks, let's not be fooled for a second by Kasich pretending to be a nice guy here. Maybe he doesn't want to get rid of Medicare or Medicaid like Carson, and he doesn't want to forcibly deport 11 million like Trump, but he does want to end abortion (and has already closed two-thirds of Ohio abortion clinics with TRAP laws) and is still gunning for a federal balanced budget amendment, which would require massive austerity cuts across the board.
Let's not forget either that Kasich was the guy behind the Contract With America budget, as Digby points out.
In April 1995, Budget Committee chairman John Kasich (R-Ohio) muscled through the House of Representatives the Contract with America budget plan. It was a towering achievement by Washington standards. Three cabinet departments--Commerce, Education, and Energy--were to be eliminated. Hundreds of small government programs and several large ones--from the National Endowment for the Arts, to mass transit grants, to the federal helium reserve, to the peanut subsidy program--were to be canceled. In short, it would have dramatically halted the government's fiscal expansion of the past 40 years.
The only difference between Kasich and the Trump/Carson wing of the GOP is that Kasich has the benefit of experience and is hiding his massive austerity cuts under the "balanced budget amendment" farce.
In a lot of way, he'd be worse than Carson or Trump ever would be as President, because unlike those two, Kasich knows how the game is played.