Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks at the New Hampshire GOP's FITN Presidential town hall in Nashua, N.H. Jan. 23, 2016.
Photo by Mary Schwalm/Reuters

Tales from the trail: Kasich explains the Trump phenomenon


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Kasich offers an explanation for the Trump phenomenon

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Ohio Gov. John Kasich is very hesitant to ever bring up other Republican presidential candidates on the campaign trail, but one woman’s confusion and fears about Donald Trump allowed him to delve into a lengthy explanation of where he sees the support for his party’s frontrunner.

A woman at Kasich’s morning event identified herself as a military veteran and told him that she’s been reading about her fellow South Carolinians “voting with their middle finger.” She was troubled by the public’s “willingness to put trust in a man who gets more out of making fun of other candidates than really, truly embracing the issues,” she said.

Photos: South Carolina's Republican presidential primary
Republican presidential candidates have been campaigning across the Palmetto State in anticipation of its first-in-the-South GOP primary.
“It’s up to you,” Kasich responded. “I mean you gotta tell your friends. What do you think I should get on the stage and just like tackle him? You know, that ain’t going to work. He weighs more than I do ok…. I’m quicker!”

“There are always going to be some people that are really mad at the system,” Kasich continued.

“So I’m working at Nucor right?” he said, referencing a steel company he toured in South Carolina last week. “And all of a sudden they tell me I’m out of work because somebody overseas manipulated the currency and nobody stood up for me and I lost my job and I am screwed and I go home and my kids are in bad shape and my wife is upset. I’m angry! Because nobody stood up for me! Things like that happen to people. And then you got the media telling them how bad everything is and then they have legitimate concerns, and you put all that together and it creates and angst and I got that. I mean, I understand that.”

Kasich continued, “Where I grew up, the wind blew the wrong way people found themselves out of work. But I do believe in the intelligence of the American voter… and some people are going to vote for that because that’s their way of saying the system sucks. That’s their way of saying it. That’s America right? But over time and overall I think people want to see things fixed, and they are going to listen more intently to what is that might fix the system.”

“You take Donald, for example, gets 30 percent of the vote,” Kasich added. “That means 70 percent he didn’t get. So you gotta look at it

– Kailani Koenig covering the Kasich campaign