Kasich Tells Maryland |Not to Count Him Out

     SAVAGE, Md. (CN) – With one primary season victory to his name, from his home state, Ohio Gov. John Kasich pushed for Maryland’s support Wednesday at a town hall.
     Kasich held court in the Great Room at Savage Mill, a converted 19th century cotton-mill complex, one day before early voting begins in Maryland.
     Though lagging behind his opponents in the Republican primary, the Ohio governor urged the roughly 300 hundred voters assembled Wednesday afternoon not to count him out.
     “It’s going to be an open convention, and it’s all about accumulating delegates,” Kasich said. “They will realize who can be president and can win in November.”
     Kasich said after answering half a dozen questions from the crowd of a few hundred people.
     A poll by the Washington Post and University of Maryland from earlier this month counted 31 percent of likely Republican voters supporting Kasich, putting him 10 points behind the front-runner Donald Trump but 9 points ahead of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
     For Kasich to garner the nomination, the GOP would have to adopt rule changes to its nominating process, as there is currently a rule that the nominee has to have won at least eight state primaries to be considered for the nomination.
     Kasich’s unscripted presentation Wednesday focused on the Republican ideals of less regulation for business, smaller federal government and more state control of programs such as Medicare, Social Security and education.
     Condemning the president’s health care law as having made an already complicated system more convoluted, Kasich mentioned the bill he received after going to the hospital to treat pressure in his eyes.
     “It would be easier to decipher the Dead Sea Scrolls than that hospital bill,” Kasich said.
     Facing a question about his immigration stance from naturalized citizen Ivan Betancourt, Kasich said he believes in a path for legalization of immigrants currently in the country illegally, but would not offer them a path to citizenship.
     “I’m pretty sure Mexico will not pay for that wall,” Kasich said, alluding to Trump’s boisterous claim that the United States will build a wall along the Mexico border the stem illegal immigration and that the government of Mexico will pay for the construction.
     Kasich, who reportedly belongs to a conservative splinter group of the Anglican Church in North America, also said that he would require a religious test for immigrants before they were able to enter the country.
     The governor of Ohio actually grew up in Pennsylvania, moving to the Buckeye State for college in 1970. He spoke Wednesday about his upbringing outside Pittsburgh in a Democratic household. His father worked for the U.S. Postal Service, and his grandfather, a coal miner, died of black lung.
     Outlining his executive experience and financial expertise, Kasich noted that, in balancing the Ohio budget, he moved it from $8 billion in the red to $2 billion in the black.
     Kasich stayed with the crowd signing autographs and kissing babies for several minutes after the hour and half presentation. He is slated for another town-hall style meeting in New York today.
     Maryland’s primary on April 26 falls on the same day as contests in Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
     First, however, Kasich must contend with New York, considered in the bag for Trump, which hosts its primary on April 19. The Ohio governor is slated to address an audience Friday in Watertown, N.Y., about an hour south of Canada.

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