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Election 2016

WATCH: Stephen Colbert Asks John Kasich a Question That Epitomizes the GOP Election: 'How Is Losing Winning?'

Kasich: "The Republican Party is my vehicle; it is not my master."

Photo Credit: The Late Show/YouTube

Ohio Governor John Kasich joined The Late Show with Stephen Colbert after coming in second last week in the New Hampshire primary, though his New York Times endorsement may have had a little something to do with that. 
 
"I won in Dixville Notch," Kasich boasted about the town with a population under 20. "I beat Trump!"
 
"What is it about this race?" asked Colbert. "Rubio was crowing about being third in Iowa, you're thrilled about being second in New Hampshire—how is losing winning?"
 
"Well, remember when I was here the last time? No one had a clue who I was," Kasich told Colbert. "And what happened was, New Hampshire is the place where you can get on a rocket ship and become known. And when you go to South Carolina they say your message has to change. My message hasn't changed one iota." 
 
"Would you vote for Trump over him?" Colbert asked, pointing to Kasich. The crowd cheered.
 
Kasich, though a hardline conservative, believes in crossover potential due to his inclusive message. "We need to be Americans before we're Republicans and Democrats to fix a problem," he told Colbert. 
 
"The debates are the dumbest thing going because [you have to] explain your entire life story in 30 seconds, [that's often] designed to attack someone else. And if I can't win by being fundamentally positive, what's the point in winning?" 
 
"You're running as a Republican," Colbert reminded Kasich.
 
"And some regulation's okay?" Colbert asked, referring to Kasich's plan for the economy.
 
Kasich laughed. "The Republican Party is my vehicle; it is not my master," he responded. "I was the chairman of the federal budget committee when we balanced the federal budget. We paid down half a trillion of the national debt."
 
Kasich then affirmed his position that Scalia's spot on the Supreme Court should be filled by the next president, and suddenly the message wasn't "all positive."
 
Watch the full segment below:

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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