John Kasich: 'My Republican Party doesn't like ideas'

Story highlights

  • "Frankly, my Republican Party doesn't like ideas," Kasich said
  • The comments on Thursday are not the first time Kasich has called out his own party

(CNN)John Kasich on Thursday had some sharp criticism for the political party he is seeking to lead, casting the GOP as angry and aggrieved.

The Ohio governor and former congressman was asked by The Washington Post's editorial board why negative messages were doing so well in the Republican race.
"People are anxious about their jobs, they're anxious about their wages and they're anxious about their children's future. And you can appeal to them in two different ways. You can appeal to them by driving them into the ditch or you can appeal to them by giving them a way out," Kasich said.
    "A way out is not as strong as saying that everything is horrible, all we are is a bunch of losers, we have nothing, everything's going to hell, and by the way, you have been ripped off. OK?" Kasich continued. "If you don't have ideas, you got nothing. And frankly, my Republican Party doesn't like ideas. They want to be negative against things."
    The governor conceded that a few people in his party have been "idea people" -- highlighting House Speaker Paul Ryan and longtime GOP elder Jack Kemp, who died in 2009.
    The comments on Thursday are not the first time Kasich has called out his own party. He often criticizes the Republican Party at campaign events, saying the party is "my vehicle but not my master" and promising the GOP will be redefined if he becomes president. And in October, he made headlines when he slammed "ridiculous" and "hysterical" policies from other Republican presidential candidates, asking, "What has happened to our party? What has happened to the conservative movement?"
    Kasich also was asked by the Post whether he supported statehood for the District of Columbia, which under the Constitution does not have voting representation in Congress. Kasich, who has previously voted against it, signaled that he did not have a strong opinion on the matter and could be persuaded to support voting rights. But he explained his opposition in partisan terms.
    "What it really gets down to, if you want to be honest, is because they know that's just more votes in the Democratic Party," he said, an apparent reference to congressional opposition. He didn't answer a follow-up question about whether he'd have a different position if more Republicans were in the district.