Republican presidential candidate John Kasich confused George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday with a story that included the line “I’m a Democrat.” In an amusing moment, the Good Morning America co-host, himself a former Democratic operative, appeared puzzled or, perhaps, excited: “You’re a Democrat?”
The exchange occurred after Kasich, who scored a second place finish in New Hampshire, spoke of Reagan Democrats. He related, “Most of these conservative Democrats when they see a socialist winning, they're like, 'What's happened to my party? I mean, I'm a Democrat, but I'm certainly not a socialist.'”
Stephanopoulos paused and then inquired, “You’re a Democrat?” This seemed to confuse Kasich, who attempted to clarify: “I said we can attract the Democrats, George, because — well, look, my father was a Democrat and I'm a strong conservative Republican.”
This isn’t the first mixup for Kasich. On February 5, while talking to a Democratic voter in New Hampshire, the Ohio governor exclaimed, “I ought to be running in a Democrat primary. I got more Democrats for me — you have any Republican friends?”
A transcript of the February 10 GMA exchange is below:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Could you imagine joining forces with Donald Trump, bringing two wings of the party together with Donald Trump?
JOHN KASICH: Well, I don't know what that means. I mean, I'm running for president and, you know, we had a good night and we're just going to keep working. I absolutely do believe that I cannot only unify the party, but I also believe I can bring back that Reagan blue collar Democrat who --- they were for Reagan. And, George, here's the thing about it. Most of these conservative Democrats when they see a socialist winning, they're like, "What's happened to my party? I mean, I'm a Democrat, but I'm certainly not a socialist." I think those are people we can attract, particularly in the general election.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're a Democrat?
KASICH: No. I said we can attract the Democrats, George, because -- well, look, my father was a Democrat and I'm a strong conservative Republican. But somehow it seems to resonate with them. Up in New Hampshire I had so many of the people in the Democratic Party say, “Hope you do well. Hope you win.” I said, “Well, if I do I hope I get your vote in the fall. You got to switch over and vote Republican.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Kasich, thanks for joining us this morning.