HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich directly took on Donald Trump’s stance on deporting millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally, telling South Carolina voters Wednesday, November 11, that more pragmatism is needed to win the general election in 2016.
“I’d like to win an election in the fall,” Kasich said to a room of a few hundred voters on Hilton Head Island. “With a program like that, I’m not convinced we can win Ohio.”
Kasich and Trump clashed on immigration during Tuesday, November 10, night’s debate in Milwaukee, with Trump saying the estimated 11 million people in the U.S. illegally are “going to have to go out and hopefully they get back. But we have no choice if we’re going to run our country properly.” Kasich painted the sheer numbers involved as hard to simply repatriate, pointing out that families would be separated.
Kasich on Wednesday, November 11, said he felt the U.S.-Mexico border needed more security and that there would be “no excuses” after that point not to deport anyone who illegally crossed into the U.S. But he told the crowd that he also supported a “commonsense and rational approach” to dealing with a guest worker program, as well as how to handle anyone already in the country illegally.
“If they’re law-abiding, they can stay. What do you think?” Kasich asked to the crowd, which applauded his comments after a brief pause.
“It’s got to be one of our highest priorities,” Kasich said. “We’re going to respect all the work that you did.”
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