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John Kasich Defiantly Wins Over Colbert Crowd: ‘The Republican Party is Not My Master’

After his second place finish in New Hampshire — and just days before the South Carolina Primary — Ohio Governor John Kasich swung into the Ed Sullivan Theater for a visit to the Late Show. While there, the Presidential candidate won favor with Stephen Colbert‘s crowd with his emphasis on having a positive message, and by openly bashing the debate process.

Kasich has made it a point on the trail to indicate that the debates do not adequately demonstrate a candidate’s ability to be President. “Debates are the dumbest thing going,” the Ohio Governor told Colbert.

He told Colbert Wednesday night, “Look it’s sorta like explaining your entire life history in thirty seconds. I mean Harry Truman couldn’t get elected this way. The things I love are the town halls.”

The crowd cheered him on even more when he told Colbert simply, “If I can’t win by being fundamentally positive, what’s the point in winning?”

One of the biggest applause lines of the interview came when Colbert countered the Governor with some of his policy proposals that seemingly run counter to the values of the GOP. Kasich defiantly responded, “The Republican party is my vehicle, it is not my master.”

The move to appear on Colbert’s show — as well as much of his rhetoric — continue to paint the picture of Kasich as a moderate alternative to Republican options that may fare well beyond the primaries. The most recent polling data from Real Clear Politics indicates that in a general election, the Ohio Governor handily defeats Hillary Clinton, and Kasich recently locked up the GOP endorsement from The New York Times. Kasich also sat with Chris Matthews on MSNBC yesterday, and seems to be the Republican candidate most inclined to earn support from voters who do not identify as far-right of the aisle.

Watch the above video from CBS.
[image via screengrab]

J.D. Durkin is the Senior Editor of Mediaite.

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