Kasich shoots hoops, exudes confidence in New Hampshire

Does John Kasich have basketball skills?
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Does John Kasich have basketball skills? 01:04

Story highlights

  • The GOP presidential candidate made it clear to the press that his mind was on the campaign trail, and not on the happenings in Washington
  • The latest GOP polls in New Hampshire show Kasich in fifth or sixth place

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN)John Kasich was in a good mood here on Friday, joking with voters at two town halls and shooting hoops at a local basketball course with staffers.

But the GOP presidential candidate made it clear to the press that his mind was on the campaign trail, and not on the happenings in Washington hundreds of miles away.
When reporters asked Kasich earlier in the day about the congressional hearing on Benghazi where Republicans grilled Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for 11 hours on Thursday, Kasich said he'd been too busy to catch it.
    "I just didn't see it. I'm sorry," Kasich said. "I don't know where it stands right now, but I've been busy. I was busy all day yesterday here."
    A question on Paul Ryan's jump into the race for House speaker drew Kasich's usual reply, saying he didn't weigh in on legislative leadership issues "because that's not my job."
    The Ohio governor has staked a lot in New Hampshire, saying at his first office opening in early October, "If we don't do well, it's all going to end here."
    The latest GOP polls in New Hampshire show Kasich in fifth or sixth place, hovering around 7%. That's down from his third-place position when he announced his candidacy in late summer.
    After finishing a town hall Friday in Milford at an athletics club, Kasich challenged his communications director to a game of H.O.R.S.E., shooting hoops as staffers and press stood by.
    Kasich started off hot, making shot after shot and egging on his opponent, saying, "If you don't make this one, it's over!"
    But as Kasich started to miss shots, he grew frustrated. But he refused to give up.
    "No, I'm not done. I don't quit," he said.
    True to his word, Kasich stayed on the court until he sank a shot from the three-point line.
    Kasich told reporters he expects to do well in New Hampshire. He ignored a question about Donald Trump's call Friday for candidates to disavow their super PACs by calling on the groups to return their donations.
    He chose instead to focus on the last part of the question, which noted that the super PAC supporting Kasich, New Day for America, has a particularly strong presence in New Hampshire.
    "Is it? Good. I'm glad. I'm thrilled. I hope it gets stronger," Kasich said.
    New Day announced Thursday it is sending 40 volunteers to New Hampshire to door knock for Kasich over the weekend, and the PAC also plans to spend heavily on TV ads in the state from November until the primary.
    When asked if he is concerned about blurred lines between the efforts of the super PAC and campaign, Kasich returned to one of his favorite themes on the trail: music.
    "Blurred lines? That was a song. I never really got it," he said.