"The American people will say, 'What are you doing?'" Kasich said
Congress must pass a bill to fund government this month or there will be another shutdown
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Saturday that he doesn’t believe Congress should shut down the federal government in the fight to defund Planned Parenthood.
Speaking to college Republicans at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, Kasich was asked by one of the audience members about the debate in Congress about the controversial women’s health organization.
“Well if you shut down the government, the question is, will you defund (Planned Parenthood)? I think the answer is no,” Kasich said. He added that in such a scenario, the government would shut down, reopen and Planned Parenthood would still be getting funds.
“The American people will say, ‘What are you doing?’” Kasich said, adding, “The President is not going to sign a bill like that. He’s not going to.”
Some of Kasich’s opponents in the 2016 race, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, have been pushing for Republicans to stop federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood after a series of controversial videos purporting to depict the organization engaging in the sale of fetal tissue have surfaced. Cruz and GOP front-runner Donald Trump have explicitly called for the government to be shut down rather than continue funding for Planned Parenthood.
Congress must pass a bill to fund government this month or there will be another shutdown. Cruz has been supportive of brinksmanship efforts before, and was a driving force behind the last shutdown two years ago.
Kasich has consistently stated his opposition to abortion on the campaign trail, though he believes in exceptions for rape, incest and cases that involve saving the life of the mother. Although he believes federal money should be spent on women’s health needs, he doesn’t believe the federal government should fund Planned Parenthood, a position he reiterated on Saturday.
But he said a leader needs to understand how to get things done while working with people with whom he disagrees.
“My way or the highway doesn’t work in life,” he said.
CNN’s Cassie Spodak contributed to this report.