CINCINNATI, Ohio — Republican presidential candidate John Kasich stated during an interview that aired nationally on Sunday that he doesn’t “read a Bible to figure out what [he] thinks.”
Kasich was being interviewed by CNN’s Dana Bash for the network’s “State of the Nation” broadcast.
“You talk a lot about that your faith guides you, and specifically it guided you in your decision to accept Medicaid dollars,” Bash stated. “You talk about the fact that when you die, you’re not going to be asked at the pearly gates if you cut enough government spending, but did you help people who need it most.”
“Beyond Medicaid domestically, where else does that principle guide you and your policies?” she asked.
“I think it relates to early childhood education, poor kids [and] people who are in prison—giving them a chance to get their lives back if they want to earn their way there,” Kasich, the governor of Ohio, replied.
He then added a disclaimer that he didn’t need the Bible to come to a conclusion about accepting the Medicaid expansion provision in Obamacare.
“I didn’t read a Bible to decide that,” Kasich said. “I knew that number one, we would save money by taking people out of prison and letting them get a job where they could become a taxpayer. … But secondly, there’s a morality of, why would we want to lock a schizophrenic or a bi-polar person in a prison cell? That’s not what America is.”
The Republican presidential candidate then provided further clarification about Bash’s statement.
“I don’t read a Bible to figure out what I think … and I don’t question anybody else’s [motives],” he said. “I just have a heart for people who have been disabled or disadvantaged and I care about them.”
During the interview, Kasich also commented that he believes that Americans need to diversify their battles. He opined that same-sex “marriage” is “kind of off the table” at this point, and so some citizens are now only focused on one issue.
“I think [abortion] is an important issue, but I think there’s many other issues that are really critical: early childhood, infant mortality, the environment, education,” he said. “I think we focus too much on just one issue, and now that the issue of gay marriage is kind of off the table, we’re kind of down to one social issue.”
As previously reported, Kasich, an Anglican, drew concerns earlier this month when he revealed during the first Republican presidential debate that he recently attended the “gay wedding” of his friend, citing “strong faith” and “God’s unconditional love” as factors in doing so.
“Look, I’m an old-fashioned person here and I happen to believe in traditional marriage,” Kasich replied to a question from Fox’s Megyn Kelly about what he would do if one of his children came out as a homosexual since he personally opposes same-sex nuptials. “But I’ve also said that the court has ruled … and I said we’ll accept it.”
He then noted that although he has personal beliefs about marriage, he still attended the ceremony of a homosexual friend.
“[G]uess what? I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay,” Kasich explained. “Because somebody doesn’t think the way I do doesn’t mean that I can’t care about them or I can’t love them.”
The Ohio governor said that “strong faith” requires doing so.
“So if one of my daughters happened to be that, of course I would love them and I would accept them. Because you know what? That’s what we’re taught when we have strong faith,” he stated.
Kasich asserted that the issue of same-sex “marriage” is divisive.
“Issues like that are planted to divide us,” he said. “I think the simple fact of the matter is—and this is where I would agree with Jeb, and I’ve been saying it all along—we need to give everybody a chance, treat everybody with respect, and let them share in this great in this great American dream that we have, Megyn.”
“So, look, I’m going to love my daughters. I’m going to love them no matter what they do,” Kasich continued. “Because you know what? God lives me unconditional love. I’m going to give it to my family, and my friends, and the people around me.”