Republican presidential candidate John Kasich is in Mississippi drumming up support for a campaign that appears to be losing momentum. MPB's Maura Moed reports.
While GOP front-runner Donald Trump was claiming victory in most Super Tuesday primaries, Ohio Governor John Kasich was in Jackson making a case for his bottom-tier presidential bid. His moderate stances on immigration, Common Core and Medicaid expansion are not popular among southern conservatives. However, Kasich says he still thinks he has a shot at winning Mississippi.
"We're almost to March Madness. You know what they all struggle for, and what they all fight for all season long...Home-court advantage. I think I'm going to have a little bit of home-court here in Mississippi," Kasich says.
In his home state of Ohio, Kasich trails GOP front-runner Donald Trump by 5 percentage points. Kasich says in spite of a bad showing in Super Tuesday primaries, he still hopes to build momentum in Mississippi next week before Ohio votes on March 15. He says he knows what he wants to do as president.
"Balancing budgets, saving social security, cleaning up all of these federal regulations that are choking our small businesses. Being in a position to reduce taxes and simplify the tax code, giving businesses incentives to invest in America rather than overseas. That's a given. Also, rebuilding relationships with our friends and allies around the world," Kasich says.
Donald Obriant attended last nights fundraiser for Central Mississippi Republican Organizations, where Kasich was keynote speaker. He says Kasich is a more sensible alternative to other Republican candidates.
"Those moments of being deliberate, free-flowing and asking for advice and reaching into his heart searching for those things which are meaningful to him, play up his character," Obriant says.
Republican Congressman Gregg Harper of Pearl came out early as a supporter of Governor Kasich. Congressman Harper says Kasich's track record more than qualifies him to be president.
"The last time this country had a balanced budget, he was the architect of that in the House in the 1990s. We haven't had it since. In Ohio when he was elected Governor, just five years ago, they had an 8 billion dollar deficit. Now they have a 2 billion dollar surplus, and they cut taxes," Harper says.
Kasich says he isn’t expecting to pick up many delegates in Southern states - saying he knew Donald Trump would clean house in Super Tuesday primaries. However, he is hoping for a strong showing in Mississippi's primary this coming Tuesday. Candidates must get at least 15 percent of the votes to receive any delegates under Mississippi's rules.