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John Kasich defends his position in GOP race on 'Late Night'

Ohio Gov. John Kasich told 'Late Night' host Seth Meyers that polls aren't important yet and making outrageous comments isn't the way to win the presidency.
Governor John Kasich during an interview with host Seth Meyres on Sept. 22, 2015. (Photo by Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty)
Governor John Kasich during an interview with host Seth Meyres on Sept. 22, 2015.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich cast himself as a voice of a reason amid a crowded Republican presidential field on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" Tuesday night, saying he was the adult onstage during last week's raucous GOP debate.

“Do you know what a demolition derby is?” Kasich asked Meyers when describing the debate. “I was just trying not to crash my car into the wall.”

Pressed on his low poll numbers, and if his calmer demeanor is hurting his chances, Kasich demurred.

“National polls don’t matter right now,” the Republican candidate responded. “I want to be positive, I want to be a uniter. I’m not gonna go out and say, you know, outrageous things or make promises I can’t keep to win, because if I did that I’d be violating my own principles.”

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Kasich, who has climbed the polls in New Hampshire but is struggling nationally, made his usual points about how he led Ohio through economic reform and defended his decision to expand Medicaid in the state, something other Republicans have critiqued.

“If I’m helping people to get their God-given purpose back, why would I apologize for that?” Kasich asked. “I mean this is just politics. Let’s just do the right thing.”

Meyers, seemingly impressed by Kasich's "reasonable" candidacy, said he'd chip in "a couple of bucks" for the Ohio governor to stay in the running.

“Just enough to get you to each debate,” Meyers said.

After the interview, Kasich tweeted his donation page to Meyers, letting him know he can chip in easily.