Kasich sees strong finish in New Hampshire, says he'd be 'worst' VP 'anybody could ever imagine'

Story highlights

  • "I think we're running second," Kasich told CNN's Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger
  • Kasich said that he is ready for national campaign beyond New Hampshire

(CNN)Ohio Gov. John Kasich believes he is in a great position heading into Tuesday night's New Hampshire primary, and is confident that his positive and retail politics-focused campaign will get him there.

"I think we're running second," Kasich told CNN's Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger on Friday in an interview aboard his campaign bus -- a vehicle which has previously hosted musicians Ricky Martin and Lady Antebellum. "And the thing that I think is working is we have the town halls."
Kasich also commented on the Democratic race, saying he did not think that Hillary Clinton's highly compensated Goldman Sachs speeches were a major issue.
"Just because someone makes a speech doesn't mean they're on the take," Kasich said. "I don't think that's Hillary's biggest problem."
Kasich added that he thought Clinton's rival for the Democratic nomination -- Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders -- was "floating around Pluto somewhere" when the two served together in Congress.
Kasich spoke as his bus was heading from the Holiday Inn Express in Seabrook to the Atkinson Country Club for yet another town hall event.
The two-term governor is set to hold his 100th town hall event in the Granite State on Friday night and said that such events have "turned into a safe harbor for people, or a safe haven."
Kasich recalled a moment at a recent town hall where the discussion turned to the rising heroin crisis, which has ravaged New Hampshire.
"This lady holds up her hand and starts talking about her 31-year-old addicted daughter" Kasich said. "And the whole place is like weeping. ... It's just amazing to me."
Kasich has said that if he "gets smoked" in New Hampshire his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination will be over. Kasich finished eighth in the Iowa caucuses though he did not put up a serious fight in the state.
While Kasich believes he is in second place in New Hampshire, he is currently battling for third place in recent polls, and lags far behind GOP front-runner Donald Trump. A CNN/WMUR poll released on Friday found Kasich tied with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for third place in the Granite State.
Kasich said that he is ready for national campaign beyond New Hampshire. His campaign is organizing in South Carolina as well as other states deeper in the primary calendar such as Michigan and Mississippi, both of which hold primaries on March 8.
"I think we'd win the state of Mississippi tomorrow," Kasich predicted.
Kasich: I think we're running second in New Hampshire
john kasich gop vice president arnold borger sot nr_00002430

    JUST WATCHED

    Kasich: I think we're running second in New Hampshire

MUST WATCH

Kasich: I think we're running second in New Hampshire 04:18
Despite having a career in public office that stretches back to President Ronald Reagan's first term -- as well as stints as a Lehman Brothers managing director and Fox News host -- Kasich does not consider himself to be part of the Republican establishment lane.
"I've never been establishment, but I can work with the establishment," Kasich said, pointing to his experience in balancing the budget and cutting taxes in Congress. "Everyone tries to put a label on me and they can't figure it out."
Kasich believes that his refusal to go negative against fellow governors Jeb Bush and Chris Christie on the trail, combined with his ground organization and numerous town hall events, will serve him well come Tuesday night.
He is also not worried about Trump's recent foray into New Hampshire retail politics.
"You can't play catch-up here (in New Hampshire)," Kasich said. "You can't play catchup with an organization, you can't play catchup with town halls. You just can't."
When asked whether he would consider running on the Republican ticket as a vice presidential candidate, Kasich responded with a Shermanesque refusal.
"I'd be the worst vice president anybody could ever imagine," he said. "I'd be worse than Biden. Because I'm my own man."