Speaking with “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose on October 8, Republican presidential contender John Kasich split with fellow members of the Republican party on immigration and same-sex marriage. "I think I have right to define what the party is, Charlie," former Ohio governor Kasich said, "Look, if I win, I have a right to define what the party is, and along the way I'm defining what it is."
"You can build a campaign where you rise real fast but you have no underpinnings. We've sort of seen this with one candidate who led and dropped out," Kasich added in reference to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who led in early polls for the nomination but subsequently dropped out. "We're building the base to be able to be sustaining victory," said Kasich.
Regarding immigration, Kasich said of proposals to deport illegal immigrants that it is "not practical to think we're gonna go take 10, 11, 12 million people" and push them back over the border." Speaking to the issue of identifying and arresting undocumented immigrants, he asked "What are we gonna do? How are gonna get them? Are we gonna ship them to the border and yell 'Get out of our country? It’s just not practical.”
Kasich added, “And, by the way, these folks who are here, many of them are creating a wonderful, stronger America. So I think it can pass. I actually think this can pass. In this campaign, we should stop talking about pie in the sky and starting talking about real solutions. I've been a reformer my entire lifetime, but I know how to land a plane and get it done. As to same-sex marriage, Kasich said he supports the traditional definition of marriage but noted that same-sex marriage is now the law of the land and must be taken into account. "Look, I believe in traditional marriage, but the court has ruled."
The U.S. does have a history of mass deportation. In the early 1950s, during the Eisenhower administration, approximately 2 million persons (mostly Mexican citizens, but also some Americans) were deported after having overstayed their work visas. Many had come during the Second World War under a guest worker program when laborers were needed in construction, agriculture, and other industries.
With regard to the geopolitics being waged in the Middle East and recent Russian airstrikes in Syria, he recalled that he had demanded a no-fly zone over the area. Kasich promised that if "anybody violates that no-fly zone, I don't have red lines that I don't stand by,” in an apparent reference to President Obama’s widely derided threat that should Syria cross a hypothetical red line would bring about American retribution. A former member of the House Armed Services Committee, Kasich said “You come into that no-fly zone, you will suffer the consequences." Kasich said that Russia would suffer “severe consequences” should it invade air space over a no-fly zone should he sit in the White House.
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