NEW YORK, April 12 (UPI) -- Republican presidential candidate John Kasich spoke out Tuesday to warn voters that November's presidential election offers two paths -- one that moves in the right direction and one that would "drive America down into a ditch."
Speaking to the Women's National Republican Club in New York City Tuesday afternoon, the Ohio governor criticized the political strategy of Republican front-runner Donald Trump as one "based on exploiting Americans instead of lifting them up."
"Some who feed off of the fears and the anger that is felt by some of us, and exploit it, feed their own insatiable desires for fame or attention," he said.
"Just as disturbing are the solutions they offer," he continued. "We have heard proposals to create a religious test for immigration; to target neighborhoods for surveillance; to deport 11 and-a-half million people."
Presently, Kasich lags far behind Trump in the GOP delegate count -- 740 to 143. He trails Cruz by almost 400. A total of 1,237 delegates are needed to secure the Republican nomination.
On trimming the budget, Kasich said, "We have been offered hollow promises to impose a value-added tax, balance budgets through simple and whimsical cuts in 'fraud, waste and abuse.'"
On CBS This Morning earlier Tuesday, Kasich was emphatic about the possibility that he could become Trump's running mate on the Republican ticket -- saying there is "zero chance" that might happen.
"Look, I am running for president of the U.S. and that's it. If I'm not president -- which I think I have an excellent shot to be -- I will finish my term as governor and maybe I will be a co-host on your show. You never know," he said.
In an interview for a USA Today column published Monday, Trump had named Kasich as one of several people he likes as a potential vice presidential pick. He did not immediately comment on Kasich's remarks Tuesday.
On Monday during a CNN town hall, Kasich called the Republican primary delegate process "bizarre," and noted the Republican National Convention should open the process to more candidates.
Kasich appeared at the town hall with his wife and twin teenage daughters.
Also during the town hall, he spoke about LGBT rights -- and asked "what the hell" was happening in Mississippi, where the governor signed a "religious freedoms" bill last week that allows businesses, due to religious beliefs, to deny service to people who are gay or transgender. Kasich's own state, however, has a similar law.
At another town hall earlier Monday, Kasich dodged a question about "conversion therapy," a disproven technique banned in many states that attempts to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals. Instead, he explained his position on gay marriage -- that he doesn't agree with it, but respects the U.S. Supreme Court's declaration of same sex unions as a fundamental right.
Kasich also told CBS News that he would not have signed North Carolina's so-called "bathroom law" that directs public facilities to designate bathrooms for use by people based exclusively on their "biological sex."