Ohio Gov. John Kasich advises critics of Medicaid expansion to go and read the Bible. The Republican presidential candidate says he is not afraid to go against his party’s orthodoxy, arguing that helping out the poor is a moral obligation.
Kasich defended his positions during a Q&A session hosted by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Congress at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 6. The Huffington Post reports that Kasich has received criticism from his fellow Republicans after expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in his home state. Kasich claims to recommend the Bible to his critics.
"I go to events where people are yelling at me,” Kasich says. “You know what I tell them? I mean, God bless them … I'm telling them a little bit better than this. But I said, there's a book. It's got a new part and an old part. They put it together. It's a remarkable book. If you don't have one, I'll buy you one. And it talks about how we treat the poor."
The Ohio governor argues that investing in treatment for the mentally ill and those battling substance addiction is morally right and beneficial to society, reports Al Jazeera America.
“We believe over time, it’s a smart issue of arithmetic, but there’s another issue,” Kasich says. “How about morality? How about being a country that can embrace and help people to get on their feet?”
Kasich also breaks from his party’s stance on immigrants in the country illegally. Donald Trump, the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, promises mass deportations if he is elected. But Kasich believes in a more compassionate approach, Al Jazeera America reports.
"For those that are here that have been law-abiding, God bless them,” Kasich says of immigrants in the country illegally. “They’re a critical part of our society. … I think they should have a path to legalization. The idea that we’re going to pick these folks up and ship them out — that’s just unbelievable.”
Kasich is currently hurting in the presidential polls. Cleveland.com reports that an Oct. 7 poll conducted by Quinnipac University shows Kasich currently ranking third in his own home state of Ohio at 13 percent. Trump leads the state with 23 percent of voter support with Ben Carson coming in second with 18 percent.
According to Al Jazeera America, Kasich currently holds less than 2 percent of nationwide voter support.