Ohio Gov. John Kasich probably expected to steal a few laughs and a bit more public recognition during his appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" Wednesday. Instead, host Stephen Colbert grilled the Republican Presidential candidate on his "positive" platform and stance on replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
Early in Kasich's appearance Tuesday, Colbert listed off many of the positive platitudes Kasich has been promoting about his campaign — the American people are tired of negative, that we need to be Americans before Democrats and Republicans — then challenged the candidate to speak more concretely about his vision for the country.
Kasich, who said his No. 2 finish in New Hampshire was a "rocket ship" toward more recognition nationally, said that "we have to balance budgets, have more common sense regulation and cut taxes."
Colbert pressed Kasich in supporting some regulations, an unpopular position among Republican candidates.
"The Republican Party is my vehicle," replied Kasich. "It is not my master."
Things got tense when Colbert asked Kasich if he would nominate a potential replacement to Supreme Court if he was in President Barack Obama's position, faced with a vacancy with 11 months left in his term.
"I'll tell you what the problem is," Kasich began, "two minutes after Scalia was dead, the politics began."
Kasich went on to argue that nominating someone right now would exacerbate the divisiveness in Washington D.C., urging Obama to leave the decision to the next president.
"I've said that the president ought to withhold this, and we will have an election later this year," said Kasich.
"We had an election in 2012," Colbert countered.
Kasich's stance stands in contrast to that of Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who told Colbert during a phone interview on "The Late Show" Tuesday that if he were Obama he would nominate a new justice, adding that Congress does have a right not to hold confirmation hearings.
Watch John Kasich's appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" below:
Kasich is currently polling at fourth place with 9 points — just behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — and is gaining in South Carolina, the site of the next Republican primary. However, the governor is still expected to be competing for, at best, third place in the Feb. 20 contest. Donald Trump currently holds a commanding lead in the polls.