01:29 - Source: CNN
Kasich rallies supporters around presidential announcement
(CNN) —  

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Thursday he is uniquely positioned to “stand out” in the wide-open field of Republican candidates he recently joined.

“My problem has never been standing out, the problem has been standing out too much,” Kasich told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday.

RELATED: John Kasich makes 2016 bid official in freewheeling announcement

Kasich launched his White House bid Tuesday from his alma mater Ohio State University with a freewheeling speech calling for Republican unity and empathy for the poor.

Kasich, a former congressman, declined to weigh in when asked about Donald Trump’s candidacy.

“I don’t have time to waste thinking about what the heck is going on with everybody else,” Kasich said.

The immediate stake for Kasich is a spot onstage at the first Republican debate in Cleveland, in just under two weeks. The Republican Party and Fox News, which is hosting the first debate decided to limit the number of spots to the top 10 candidates in national polls taken near the time of the debate.

Kasich has been consistently polling near the back of the pack, just shy of that 10th spot.

The Kasich campaign has been banking on a post-announcement bump to lift him onstage.