Republican presidential candidate John Kasich says he is contemplating buying Bibles for those who oppose the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.
Kasich, the current governor of Ohio, made the remarks Tuesday at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C.
Kasich said that Medicaid expansion is a perfect example of politicians not leading in Washington and around the country and noted that he has been yelled at for supporting the measure, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare."
"Look at Medicaid expansion, you know how many people are yelling at me?" Kasich asked. "You know what I tell them, God bless them … there's a book it's got a new part and an old part, it's a remarkable book."
"If you don't have one, I'll buy you one, and it talks about how we treat the poor," Kasich declared.
He compared tough decisions like expanding Medicare to the importance of leading when it comes to the fight against ISIS.
Kasich regularly uses his faith to argue for the expansion of some government programs. The Christian Post reported on past comments Kasich made as governor to reporters that echoes Tuesday's statement:
"I had a conversation with one of the members of the legislature the other day. I said, 'I respect the fact that you believe in small government. I do, too. I also know that you're a person of faith.
'Now, when you die and get to the meeting with St. Peter, he's probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small," Kasich declared. "But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor. You better have a good answer.' "
A post authored by Leon H. Wolf at the conservative blog Red State heavily criticized Kasich's remarks Tuesday, going so far as to call the presidential candidate "a walking, talking joke."
"Since John Kasich knows so much about the Bible, maybe he can point to the passage that says that being a Christian means that you should support the government forcibly confiscating the tax money of other people to help the poor," wrote Wolf.
He slammed Kasich's biblical views on helping the poor "a perversion" of Gospel teaching and called the governor "The Republican for Republicans who are ashamed of being Republican."
Kasich, who is Anglican, is the author of Every Other Monday: Twenty Years of Life, Lunch, Faith, and Friendship. The book focuses on theological issues and revolves around his prayer and Bible study group. Kasich has said that after both of his parents were killed by a drunk driver in 1987, the incident let to a deep reorientation of his faith life.
Jim Geraghty, a contributing editor at National Review, said of Kasich's remarks on Twitter, "In other news, Kasich is conceding the GOP presidential nomination."
During his remarks Kasich criticized the ongoing secularization of the country and offered his support for immigration reform, which included a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants. Kasich reiterated the importance of birthright citizenship, a measure some GOP presidential candidates have criticized.
"I think Hispanics, from top to bottom, play an enormous role in our society," said Kasich, adding that Hispanics can accomplish anything in the United States.
The Ohio governor praised work as having "dignity" and noted, "The Lord does not look at us and what our positions are, he looks at us at what is in our heart, and rewards us that way."
The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO, Javier Palomarez, praised Kasich for his attendance and chided Donald Trump for "chickening out." Politico offers a full video of Kasich's entire speech.