Ohio Gov. John Kasich tried to get attention by being aggressivein Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate, but a focusgroup in New Hampshire shows that the Ohio governor particularlyrubbed voters the wrong way.
Luntz Global —Â the firm of public opinion guruFrank Luntz —Â released a memo Wednesday morningafter conducting a focus group of 27 Republican primary voters inNashua, New Hampshire during the televised debate.
The memo, focusing on six things candidates do that votersdislike, singled out Kasich for particularly irking the voters inthe Nashua focus group on both style and substance. It’sespecially painful to Kasich considering New Hampshire is the earlystate his campaign has really focused on.
“Governor Kasich scored the lowest we’ve evermeasured in a primary debate when he backed the big bankbailouts,” the Luntz Global memo stated.
During the debate, Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz sparred overthe issue. “What would you do if the bank was failing?”Cruz asked Kasich at one point.
“I would not let the people who put their money in thereall go down,” Kasich replied.
“So you — you would bail them out,” Cruzsaid.
“As an executive — no. As an executive, I wouldfigure out how to separate those people who can afford it versusthose people, or the hard-working folks who put those money inthose institutions,” Kasich said to boos from theaudience.
According to the Luntz memo, when Kasich “added that hewould ‘separate those people who could afford it,’ ourvoters exploded.”
“Jeers, catcalls, even profanity … it was acomplete rejection not just of his position but of hiscandidacy,” the memo stated. “The thought thatWashington would means test a bailout is absolute poison in a GOPprimary.”
The focus group also had issues with Kasich’s style,according to Luntz, especially his repeated attempts to elbowhimself into discussions.
“John Kasich couldn’t help himself —interrupting, interjecting, intruding, or worse. According to ourvoters, he was ‘rude … pushy … he just buttedin … he needs to give others a chance to talk, he seems verydesperate,'” the memo stated.
“It got so bad for Kasich that after his secondinterruption in ten minutes, the dials nosedived every other timehe spoke,” the Luntz memo said. “Message to candidates:you get one chance to interrupt — wait until it reallymatters.”
Kasich’s other memorable moment of the night was hislambasting of Republicans who want to deport illegal immigrants,though garnered applause at one point during the discussion.
“If they have been law-abiding, they pay a penalty. Theyget to stay. We protect the wall. Anybody else comes over, they goback,” Kasich said ofÂ illegal immigrants.
“But for the 11 million people, come on, folks,”Kasich added. “We all know you can’t pick them up andship them across, back across the border. It’s a sillyargument. It is not an adult argument. It makes nosense.”
The Daily Caller has reached out to the Kasich campaign forcomment.