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Kasich taking issue with Trump on his comments on abortion, nuclear weapons

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. John Kasich spoke out Thursday on controversial remarks made by his fellow Republican presidential candidate, real estate tycoon and reality TV star Donald Trump.

Kasich’s campaign released a statement following a town hall event Trump had with MSNBC host Chris Matthews.

During the course of the event, Trump was asked about outlawing abortion in the United States. After saying, “you have to ban it,” he said he could see “some form of punishment” for women who would still seek the procedure.

Kasich, who also appeared on a town hall event with the network later in the night, reacted quickly.

“The past 24 hours revealed in the clearest way yet that Donald Trump is not prepared to be president,” Kasich said in a statement. “On top of all his previous inflammatory statements, yesterday he proposed punishing women who receive abortions, attacked the Geneva Conventions and said he’d nominate Supreme Court justices based on who will look into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.”

Trump appeared to walk back his comments after receiving criticism from several candidates and media figures, saying that penalties would be aimed at doctors.

“If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman,” Trump said in a statement.

Kasich also took issue with Trump’s comments on the subject of nuclear weapons. Trump said he could not completely rule out using nuclear weapons in Europe.

“Look, nuclear should be off the table, but would there be a time when it could be used? Possibly,” Trump told Mattthews. Kasich said Trump was “not ready to be commander in chief.”

“He talks loosely about the use of nuclear weapons and of dismantling NATO,” Kasich said in his statement. “America is facing major challenges at home and abroad and cannot afford to elect a President who does not respect the seriousness of the office.”

As Trump attempted to clarify his remarks on Thursday, Kasich intensified his critique during a news conference in Manhattan.

“It appears that when he does these events and people press him, he becomes unmoored and has to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to correct them,” Kasich said. “You don’t get do-overs. You need to be able to get it right the first time.”