Kasich: GOP is 'losing the future' by 'turning off millennials'

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich speaks during a town hall style campaign stop at the Crowne Plaza on April 19, 2016 in Annapolis, Maryland. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images

Story highlights

  • John Kasich says the GOP should gravitate toward more positive messaging
  • Kasich says the loss in the Alabama Senate race loss shows the GOP is seen as "small, angry and narrow"

Washington (CNN)Ohio Gov. John Kasich says the Alabama Senate election shows how his own party is turning off young voters by gravitating toward anger instead of positivity in its messaging.

"I look at Alabama and I say people are not happy with us being small, angry and narrow," the Republican told NBC's "Meet the Press." "They're starting to say 'no.' That means that most of us who believe in a positive party are beginning to win, but we have a long way to go."
    Democrat Doug Jones won the special election in Alabama, a state that leans heavily toward Republicans. Kasich suggested that although the anti-establishment wing of the GOP is suffering from the loss, there's an alternative part of the party ready to "fix" problems in Washington.
    "There's some in the party that look at problems and they're negative and they're angry and they're small. And there's other people that look at the problems and say, 'We can fix them,'" the 2016 presidential candidate said. "So instead of losing the future, which is what we're doing today, turning off millennials."
    Kasich also pointed to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, health care, and trade as issues where the GOP may need to reposition itself.
    Asked about whether he'd consider changing his party, Kasich said, "I never give up, Chuck. If the party can't be fixed ... then I'm not going to be able to support the party. Period."