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CNBC republican debate

John Kasich explodes at the GOP debate, suggests Trump is a 'fantasy'

Ohio Gov. John Kasich had harsh words for Republican frontrunners Donald Trump and Ben Carson during CNBC's GOP presidential debate, calling their ideas "fantasy" and saying the country cannot elect somebody who "doesn't know how to do the job."

Kasich said he was the only person on stage involved in balancing the federal budget, and the "empty promises" of some candidates would leave the U.S. "trillions and trillions" of dollars in debt. "I have a plan that would create jobs, cut taxes, balance the budget, and get it done because I'm a realist," he said. "Why don't we just give a chicken in every pot while coming up with these fantasy tax games?" Kasich added that when he became governor, Ohio was in an "$8 billion hole, and now we have a $2 billion surplus, we're up 347,000 jobs."

When pressed by a moderator to say whose proposals he thought were "just crazy," Kasich didn't name names, but instead said: "To talk about having a 10 percent tithe, that's how we're going to fund the government? ... We're just gonna be 'great,' or we're just going to ship 10 million Americans, or people, out of the country, leaving their children here and dividing families? Folks, we have to wake up. We can't elect somebody who doesn't know how to do the job."

Trump quickly pounced, saying that Kasich "got lucky with a thing called fracking. He hit oil, that's why Ohio is doing well." He also said Kasich was a managing general partner at Lehman Brothers "when it went down the tubes and almost took everyone of us with it," and got in a dig about Kasich's popularity. "He said, 'Oh I'm such a nice guy, oh I'm never going to attack,' then his poll numbers tanked," Trump said. "That's why he's on the end, and he got nasty. You know what? You can have him." Kasich quickly responded by saying he was actually a banker, and proud of it. Catherine Garcia