Gov. John Kasich of Ohio expressed openness this weekend to considering Judge Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court, only to later clarify that he was just being polite and would not, in fact, choose him for the court.
In an interview recorded on Saturday for CBS' “Face the Nation,” Kasich said Republican senators probably should meet with Garland, President Barack Obama’s selection for the court.
Asked by the host, John Dickerson, if he would “take a look at” Garland if he were to become president, Kasich suggested he might.
“Well, you know, he received, you know, overwhelming support, I think even from Senator Hatch, so of course we’d think about it,” Kasich said, referring to U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who has praised Garland in the past.
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Kasich’s comments about Garland put the governor at risk of drawing ire from conservatives, particularly over the judge’s record on the Second Amendment, which the National Rifle Association has criticized.
Later Saturday, after CBS reported Kasich’s comments, Kasich took to Twitter to clarify that any possible Supreme Court nominee “who doesn’t respect the 2nd amendment would be a non-starter.”
Speaking to reporters in Utah, Kasich said he expressed openness to the judge because he wanted to be polite.
“Nobody should be confused, worked up or upset,” he said. “He’s not going to be my pick for the Supreme Court.”