Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Sunday said American voters are pleading with him to strike a positive tone in the GOP presidential race, as he rides a second-place finish in New Hampshire into the bare-knuckle fight that’s emerging in South Carolina ahead of its Feb. 20 primary.
Mr. Kasich said it will take “a long time” for Republicans to settle on their pick to take on the Democratic nominee in November and replace President Obama.
But for now, he hopes to rise above the fray. Mr. Kasich was openly exasperated by the nasty tone of a Republican primary debate late Saturday, imploring his on-stage rivals to ditch their negative ads and run positive campaigns.
“It was like a demolition derby, but the good news is my car is still going around the circuit,” Mr. Kasich told ABC’s “This Week.”
“I think these debates are ridiculous. This is not a way to pick a president,” he added.
During the debate, Mr. Kasich defended his decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare and blamed partisan divisions in the country for making it impossible for Mr. Obama to name someone to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died Saturday.
Mr. Kasich said he doubts Mr. Obama would choose a consensus nominee, so the decision should be put off until next year.