Ohio Gov. John Kasich stepped up his criticism of Alabama Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore, saying he is “too divisive a person” to serve in the U.S. Senate.
In separate interviews Sunday on “ABC’s This Week” and “CNN’s State-of-the-Union,” Kasich said Moore “should step aside” following revelations in a Washington Post article last week that he made sexual advances against a 14-year-old girl in 1979 when he was a 32-year-old prosecutor in Alabama.
“There's a growing list of people that think he ought to step aside, not be the standard bearer,” Kasich said on CNN, referring to Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Kasich said the “people of Alabama have to figure it out. And I would hope that they would say, no, this is not acceptable.”
Kasich first called for Moore to end his campaign in a tweet Friday.
In addition to his criticism of Moore, Kasich also delivered a sharp volley against congressional Republicans, saying their efforts to try and scrap the 2010 health law known as Obamacare instead of stabilizing it was a reason Virginia Republicans last Tuesday lost the governor’s race and control of the state house of delegates.
“Well, I mean throwing 25 million Americans off of health care, who in the heck is thinking that’s good?” Kasich said on ABC. “This is the one thing I don’t understand where the Republicans are.”
“Does Obamacare need reform?” Kasich asked. “Of course it needs reform,” adding that he and other governors back a plan co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democrat Patty Murray of Washington aimed at stabilizing the federally subsidized individual insurance market.
“Do you know what it does?” Kasich said. “It reduces the deficit slightly and it takes no one off of health care and it stabilizes the market and they say that’s not a good plan,” referring to congressional Republicans.
“What is it they want?” Kasich asked.
Kasich expanded that criticism on CNN’s State of the Union, warning the Republican Party “has just gotten smaller here, you know, anti-trade, anti-immigrant, trying to take health care away from folks. This is not going to work.”
Obamacare cut the number of Americans without health insurance or government-provided coverage by 40 percent. The law expanded eligibility for Medicaid – the joint federal and state program which provides health care for the poor – and provided federal subsidies to allow middle-income people to buy individual plans through marketplaces known as exchanges established by the states or federal government.
As governor, Kasich defied conservative lawmakers in Ohio and accepted hundreds of millions of Medicaid dollars help more than 700,000 low-income Ohioans receive health care.
But he refused to establish a state marketplace to allow middle-income people to buy federally subsidized individual policies. Instead, people in Ohio had to buy their policies through a marketplace established by the federal government.
When he ran for the Republican presidential nomination last year, Kasich repeatedly defended his decision to expand Medicaid. But he also insisted, “I'm not for Obamacare, never have been.”