Kasich emphasizes level-headedness, experience in Pa. town hall

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 Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks to supporters at Darke County GOP headquarters, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, in Greenville, Ohio. Polls suggest he has a big lead over his Democratic challenger, county executive Ed Fitzgerald. Kasich's strength and his position as the top elected official in one of the nation's most important swing states, is fueling renewed speculation that he may join the crowded 2016 Republican presidential field. He's not ruling anything out. (Al Behrman/AP Photo)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks to supporters at Darke County GOP headquarters, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, in Greenville, Ohio. Polls suggest he has a big lead over his Democratic challenger, county executive Ed Fitzgerald. Kasich's strength and his position as the top elected official in one of the nation's most important swing states, is fueling renewed speculation that he may join the crowded 2016 Republican presidential field. He's not ruling anything out. (Al Behrman/AP Photo)

Less than a week before Tuesday’s primary election in Pennsylvania, Republican presidential candidate John Kasich continued to compete for Keystone State voters.

The Ohio governor hosted a town hall on Penn State’s Brandywine campus Thursday afternoon.

After leading with a mention of his alma mater — Ohio State University — which produced some friendly boos, Kasich launched into a stump speech calling for tax cuts, stronger national defense, and a plea to towns and communities to solve problems such as drug abuse and poverty on a local level.

“These things are not that difficult. We just have to take control again,” Kasich said, “And when we take control again, it will make a big difference.”

Kasich also offered a not-so-veiled attack on Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, arguing that he could deliver solutions on the campaign trail and not simply vent frustrations.

“Anger sells. Strife sells. But that’s not where we want to live, is it?”

Glenside resident Laura Miller, who changed her party affiliation to Republican last month so she could vote for Kasich, said she was impressed by his ability to solve problems in a bipartisan way in state and federal government.

“Of course, Hillary Clinton has been willing to reach across the aisle too, but there’s a lack of trustworthiness,” said Miller. “He’s probably more honest.”

But South Philadelphian Cliff Welby, who had been leaning toward voting for Kasich, said the town hall changed his mind.

“He reminds me of a 1950s ‘oh, golly gee’ kind of guy,” said Welby, a registered Democrat. “I don’t think he will stand a chance running against Hillary Clinton on the debate stage.”

The low-key campaign stop also drew a handful of protesters, who did not disrupt the event.

Pennsylvania and Delaware voters head to the polls on Tuesday.

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