Spoiler John Kasich, who continues to campaign for president even though it’s mathematically impossible for him to win the delegates required to secure the nomination, stuck his foot in his mouth Saturday when he said he would consider nominating President Obama’s latest gun rights suppressing nominee to the Supreme Court. Kasich’s ill-advised comments about nominating Garland came during the taping of his interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd and were broadcast on today’s edition of “Meet the Press”:
CHUCK TODD: You talk about yourself as a consensus builder, so I’m curious. What do you make of the Republican Senate strategy on the Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland? Should the senate at least hold hearings?
JOHN KASICH: You know, Chuck. Look, this is one I’m not going to actually answer directly. Because I don’t think the senate is waiting there with bated breath for my opinion. But the fact is, I never thought the president should have sent it up.
I think they can go ahead and have a meeting with him. The senators can meet with this gentleman. And then maybe ultimately, if I’m president, which I think we have a good shot at being, maybe he’ll be under consideration for the Supreme Court. I don’t know. But they ought to meet with him. Show him that amount of respect.
CHUCK TODD: But what about hearings and all that?
JOHN KASICH: Look, the hearings aren’t going to mean anything, Chuck. But that’s up to them to decide. Ask them.
Kasich tried to undo the damage by claiming that saying he would consider nominating Garland was an attempt to be “polite.” It’s pretty obvious that someone told the spoiler that it wasn’t a good move to say you would consider nominating a liberal judge who, in Kasich’s words, “who’s, you know, obviously not a respecter of the Second Amendment,” when you are seeking the Republican presidential nomination:
“In an effort to be polite today, I’ve created little bit of a situation,” Kasich said after a campaign event in St. George. “Look, you know, Garland is — I’m gonna have my own picks for the Supreme Court. You know, the fact is, I said that they ought to meet him and talk to him and, you know, I’m not gonna pick somebody who’s, you know, obviously not a respecter of the Second Amendment. I don’t want people making law and so, nobody should be confused, worked up or upset. He’s not gonna be my pick for the Supreme Court.”
Kasich noted that his “gut reaction” was that people like Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, had spoken favorably of Garland in the past. “He got a lot of votes. But you know, I’m just trying to be polite sometimes, you know? There’s nothing wrong with that. … Everybody just take a chill pill.”
Kasich tried to walk back the Garland nomination statement so hard that Todd even mentioned it during the Broadcast:
CHUCK TODD: By the way, following that interview with John Kasich, he walked back his comments on Merrick Garland saying he would not consider Merrick Garland as a potential replacement to Justice Scalia if he’s elected president.
This illustrates why Kasich has only been able to win one of all the GOP presidential primary contests — his home state of Ohio.