Ohio Gov. John Kasich has gotten a reputation about being "cranky and impulsive,"
but he's also not afraid to poke a little fun at himself, even if it's in a "slow jam" session with "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon.
"I went on the Colbert Report one time, and boy, that was really something," Kasich told Fox News' Brian Kilmeade in a wide-ranging interview, part of which aired on "Fox & Friends"
Friday morning. "It was like trying to hit a knuckleball. If Fallon wants me to 'slow jam' the news, I'll be glad to show up and do it."
Earlier this week, after Jeb Bush announced his candidacy, the former Florida governor did the "Slow Jam the News" segment
with Fallon, even delivering part of it in Spanish, and Kasich told Kilmeade he has no problem with such entertaining appearances.
Part of holding office and running in campaigns, he said, is knowing how to have "a little bit of fun."
"It's a very serious job and it's a very difficult day process, but at the end of the day if you can get a little joy, there's no point" in not doing so, Kasich said.
Also in the interview, Kasich, who is likely to jump into the presidential race at some point, said he agrees with declared candidate Donald Trump
that the nation's borders need to be secured, but he doesn't agree with his comments about Mexico sending its worst elements into the United States.
"There have been a lot of people come in who are hard-working, God-fearing family people," Kasich told Kilmeade, noting that when background checks are run and it is discovered that criminals have come into the country, they need to be put in prison or deported.
However, he said, there are "many very fine people who have come into this country trying to make a better life for themselves. But, you know, you can't have people just walking into your home or willy-nilly crossing the border into this country."
It is imperative to have border security and also "an immigration system that's rational, that will work, and that will be comprehensive," Kasich said.
Kasich did say that he believes the time may be right for him to seek a higher office.
While he was still in Congress, he backed out of a possible race because the timing wasn't right to campaign against then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush. But now, he said, things are different when it comes to a possible fight against Bush's brother, Jeb, who is already pulling in many millions for his campaign.
"I was chairman of the Budget Committee and we did balance the federal budget," Kasich said. "I did have military experience and then I left for 10 years and went into that glorious private sector."
But being elected twice in Ohio and turning the state's finances around has put him at a whole new level, Kasich said.
The governor does not yet enjoy widespread name recognition outside the state. In a recent Quinnipiac University poll, he came in far behind Hillary Clinton in a possible matchup in Florida and Pennsylvania, but 7 percentage points ahead of her in Ohio.
"Well, I guess they still like me in Ohio," Kasich joked. "If I can't do well in Ohio, I may as well hang it up and get back to being home."
But that's not a prospect he minds, he said, because as governor he takes care of his state and doesn't "travel around the country" campaigning for higher office.
"I love Ohio and its people, " the governor said. "Here's what we do know: If you can't win Ohio you can't be president," as there "has not been a president who didn't carry Ohio."
He also lauded his state as a place that gives everyone a chance, answering questions about why he opted to expand Medicare coverage, which lead to large amounts of criticism from Republicans.
"In Ohio we try to give everybody a chance," he told Kilmeade. "If you're drug-addicted, if you're mentally ill, if you're the working poor. We want to recognize the God-given dignity of every human being and as we grow, it can't just be for a select crowd. It's got to be for everyone. That's been my philosophy and that's what we should do in America — restore the American Dream so everybody can get ahead."
But he denied that he's "undisciplined," as some have claimed.
"I will tell you at the time I'm also having discipline, there's also a time to have some fun," Kasich said. "Enjoy yourself, be loose, [and] thank the Lord for your life. I have great discipline really to get things done. But at the same time, let's not take ourselves too seriously."
Watch the video here.
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