Kasich told CNN Wednesday that he planned to maintain a positive campaign -- unless he was attacked.
"I'm not just going to sit there and be a marshmallow or some kind of a pincushion where people just pound me," he said. "Where I come from, the blue collar town that I come from, if you came in and beat our football team, we just broke all the windows on your bus. That's just a joke."
However, the Ohio governor has remained quiet when it comes to attacks from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio.
The group issued a statement Wednesday that said, "Kasich is no Moderate; Has Been Making Life Hell for Women in Ohio." The harsh rebuke coincides with the passage of a bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood in Ohio. The bill, expected to land on Kasich's desk Wednesday, is one he's promised to sign.
"There's a reason John Kasich never mentions his record on women's health on the campaign trail -- he's one of the most extreme anti-abortion Governors in the country," Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens told Politico. "Kasich has passed 17 restrictions in Ohio, shuttering nearly half the abortion providers in his state. He's about to slash Ohio programs that prevent infant mortality, domestic violence, and the spread of HIV, all to help a vindictive campaign against Planned Parenthood and reproductive health providers."
The group made a five-figure digital ad buy on Facebook and several major Ohio news outlets.
"John Kasich said he supports women and families," an ad says. "So why does Kasich want to defund Planned Parenthood, cut programs that prevent infant mortality and end important domestic violence prevention initiatives?"
In early December, FiveThirtyEight reported Kasich has not only adopted 17 abortion restrictions -- which his administration was quietly involved in crafting -- but adopted them at a rate faster than many other states. As a result, the number of surgical abortion centers in Ohio has been nearly halved.
Texas is the only other state to lose so many clinics in such a short period of time.
In contrast to Sen. Marcio Rubio, Carly Fiorina and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- all of whom are staunchly anti-abortion -- Kasich has not discussed his stance on the issue much during his campaign.