John Kasich calls attacks on his conservatism 'silly'

Story highlights

  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich dismissed an attack from a conservative blogger who said he wasn't conservative enough
  • Kasich has stood out for defending questions from CNBC debate moderators

Washington (CNN)Ohio Gov. John Kasich defended his conservative bona fides Sunday after coming under fire for defending CNBC's handling of the third Republican debate.

A blogger for the conservative website RedState.com wrote last week that Kasich "was utterly clueless about the Republican electorate as a whole" because of his defense of CNBC. But Kasich dismissed that attack Sunday.
"I don't really care about blogs," Kasich told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union."
    "I've balanced budgets, I was the chief architect (of a balanced federal budget) in Washington, we created jobs, families were better," Kasich said. "When I came to Ohio we were $8 billion in the hole, now we're $2 billion in the black, we have lots of school choice, I've cut taxes by more than any sitting governor in America. You know, families are better, wages are growing faster than the national average, our credit is strong. What is there not to like?"
    Kasich then laughed at being questioned at all.
    "It's so silly!" Kasich said. "Here's what my goal is: I not only want to cut taxes and create jobs for families, but ship a lot of programs back home so that people will be empowered to begin to build our families and our communities, which is about the spirit of our country. Now if that's not conservative, you tell me what is."
    RedState blogger Leon Wolf had criticized Kasich for defending CNBC's moderators.
    "For all that people criticize Jeb Bush, Kasich is far and away the candidate in this field who is just utterly clueless about the Republican electorate as a whole. Worse, to the extent that Kasich does understand Republicans, he dislikes them," Wolf wrote.
    But questions of Kasich's conservatism have dogged him throughout the Republican presidential primary, stemming in large part from his decision to approve an expansion of Medicaid, but also stoked by his own campaign rhetoric.
    "That is conservatism, to give people a chance to live out their God-given potential," Kasich said. "And because some people say they don't like my tone or because I question abolishing Medicare or Medicaid, that that's not conservative? Listen, I have a plan to improve Medicare and Medicaid. I have done it in Ohio. To say that we're going to deport 10 or 11 million people and divide families, that's just nutty."