Ohio Gov. John Kasich has a message for presidential candidates: “Grow up.”
In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, the 2016 hopeful suggested that presidential candidates typically make “ridiculous” promises and focus less on solutions than on running “just to get elected.”
“If we’re running for these offices just to get elected, I mean, we’re not running for class president,” he told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “We’re running to be the commander-in-chief and the leader of the United States of America. Grow up.”
Kasich, who is struggling to gain traction in national polls, isn’t shying away from talking about his experience in Congress, and he’s running on his ability to govern – not on ideology.
“Part of the reason I’m running is because I have the experience to know how to fix it,” he said of Washington’s problems. “And you can’t fix it with hot rhetoric, one party. It has to be, either we’re in this to fix America or we’re in this to get elected.”
“I’m not going to just make statements just to make them,” he added. “Do you ever notice, when people run for president, they never keep their word? They never keep their promises. And the reason is they make promises that are ridiculous.”
Kasich did not specifically name which 2016 candidates he believes to be leading offenders. But he suggested that he’s willing to work across the aisle and focus on “problem solving” over rhetoric.
“We’re not in this to get elected, we’re in this to do the right thing,” he said of his campaign.
Kasich, a former FOX News host, was reluctant to weigh in when asked about Donald Trump’s appeal within the Republican Party.
“I don’t have a read on it. I’m not talking about him,” he said, although he acknowledged that voters are “frustrated” with the status quo.
“So my poll numbers are not great, okay? So I’ve got to talk about me,” he said. “Why am I weighing in on that? Let’s let everybody else weigh in.”
This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com