John Kasich walks back comments that he might nominate Merrick Garland for Supreme Court

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ST. GEORGE, Utah -- Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich walked back from comments he made during an interview on "Meet The Press," saying that that if he becomes president, he would not consider Merrick Garland, President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, as a potential replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

In a pre-taped interview on Saturday, NBC's Chuck Todd asked Kasich about whether the Senate should hold hearings on Obama's pick.

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Kasich noted that while he doesn't think Obama should have named a replacement in the first place, he stated that members of the Senate should show Garland "respect" by granting him a meeting, and that he could possibly consider putting him under consideration as his own nominee.

"I think they can go ahead and have a meeting with him," Kasich said. "The senators can meet with this gentleman. And then maybe ultimately, if I'm president -- which I think we have a good shot at being — maybe he'll be under consideration for the Supreme Court. I don't know. But they ought to meet with him. Show him that amount of respect."

Kasich also said he would consider Garland while speaking to CBS on Saturday.

But the governor stepped back from his comments while speaking to reporters in Utah later Saturday, calling his earlier remarks an attempt at being "polite."

John Kasich through his career:

John Kasich through his career
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John Kasich walks back comments that he might nominate Merrick Garland for Supreme Court
MT. PLEASANT, SC - FEBRUARY 10: Republican presidential candidate John Kasich talks to an overflow crowd outside of Finn's Brick Oven Pizza February 10, 2016 in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. The South Carolina Republican primary will be held Saturday, February 20. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
11/3/95 - Rep. John R. Kasich (R-OH), seated 2nd from left, and Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-NM) in the dark suit standing, go over their response to President Clinton's radio address just prior to recording the radio broadcast in the Senate studio. Kasich was casually dressed as the House was out of session for the weekend. (Photo by Robert A. Reeder/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio, holds the Republican budget plan during a debate with Budget Director Alice Rivlin, Thursday Oct. 19, 1995 at the National Press Club in Washington. Kasich said that the Republicans have a deal to balance the budget in seven years and will not wait to balance any longer. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio, points to his head during a Capitol Hill news conference Thursday Nov. 16, 1995 to discuss the federal budget impasse. Earlier, President Clinton pledged to veto the latest Republican attempt to end the three-day-old partial federal shutdown, dismissing the GOP measure as "an exercise of political power." (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
U.S. Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio, flashes the victory sign as he walks with his new bride, Karen Waldbillig, down the steps of St. John's Episcopal Church in Worthington, Ohio, after the couple exchanged wedding vows Saturday, March 22, 1997. Kasich and Waldbillig, who had been dating for eight years, plan to build a home in Delaware County. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Ellis)
D:\BOB\budget3.tif - slug: NA/BUDGET date: May 2, 1997 photog: Robert A. Reeder TWP The Rotunda of the Capitol description: GOP happy with their signed budget John R. Kasich (R-OH) is having a particularly good time during the GOP announcement of a new budget in the Rotunda of the Capitol. In front of him is Speaker Newt Gingrich. (Photo by Robert A. Reeder/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio, left, shakes hands with Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., during the announcement of the budget Friday, May 2, 1997, at the Capitol. Trading combat for compromise, President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders announced agreement Friday on a plan to balance the budget while bestowing tax breaks on families, investors and students. (AP Photo/Joe Marquette)
As his wife Karen, left, watches, U.S. Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio, stops in for a haircut by Joe Swiezynski in Milford, N.H. Monday Feb. 15, 1999. Kashich is on a two-day campaign swing through New Hampshire seeking support for his presidential bid in the nation's earliest presidential priamry scheduled for about a year from now. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Presidential hopeful Sen. John Kasich, R-Ohio, center, rides a dog sled Sunday, March 14, 1999, on Lake Winnepesaukee in Laconia, N.H. Kasich participated in the World Championship Sled Dog Derby award ceremony and is in the state looking for support for his run for president in 2000. (AP Photo/Joel Page)
John Kasich, Republican Congressman from Ohio and presidential hopeful, makes a point during an interview on a stop on a campaign swing through Los Angeles on Tuesday, March 30, 1999. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio, warms up before a celebrity softball game Saturday, July 3, 1999, in Dyersville, Iowa. Kasich and fellow presidential hopeful Bill Bradley were part of a unique mix of baseball and politics, as presidential candidates and Hall of Fame legends took up the cause of a disgraced player who died nearly 50 years ago. Nostalgia and baseballs filled the air in a city put on the map by the movie ``Field of Dreams,'' which was about a fantasy baseball game involving Shoeless Joe Jackson. (AP Photo/Rodney White)
P 350430 022 2May99 Manchester, Nh John Kasich (R-Oh), At The First-In-The-Nation Primary Kick-Off Weekend. (Photo By Jonathan Elderfield/Getty Images)
Republican presidential hopeful, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, left, and Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio, sport Bush baseball caps during a news conference in Washington Wednesday July 14, 1999 where Kasich announced he would end his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination and endorse Bush. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY NOV. 5--With the Washington Monument in the background, retiring Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio poses on Capitol Hill Thursday, Oct. 19, 2000. (AP Photo/Stephen J. Boitano)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 02: HOUSE ARMED SERVICES--John R. Kasich, R-Ohio, and Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., talk during House Armed Services Committee hearing on the president's fiscal year 2000 defence budget authorization budget request. (Photo by Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)
Former Ohio congressman John Kasich attends the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wednesday, September 3, 2008. (Photo by Harry E. Walker/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC- Dec. 01: Governor-elect John Kasich, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, during a news conference after their meeting with other Republican members and governors-elect. Boehner is the presumed House Speaker for the 112th Congress. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)
John Kasich, governor of Ohio, speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 14, 2011. The Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center will include a 100,000 square foot medical mart and an adjoining convention center with 230,000 square feet of exhibit hall space. The facility is expected to open in September 2013. Photographer: David Maxwell/Bloomberg via Getty Images
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 30: Ohio Governor John Kasich works long hours with staff on his new budget proposal at his office, in the Ohio State House office, Columbus, Ohio, Wednesday, March 30, 2011. Newly elected republican Ohio Governor John Kasich is working toward to balancing an Ohio budget in deficit through a budget proposal with extensive budget cuts, spending reform, and changes in labor laws, including restrictions on collective bargaining. (Photo by Melina Mara/ The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (2nd L) waves alongside Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman (L) and Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) during a campaign stop at Tom's Ice Cream Bowl in Zanesville, Ohio, on August 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 28: Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at the 2012 Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)
COLUMBUS, OHIO - JULY 21: Ohio Governor John Kasich gives his speech announcing his 2016 Presidential candidacy at the Ohio Student Union, at The Ohio State University on July 21, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. Kasich became the 16th candidate to officially enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NH - FEBRUARY 09: Republican presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich waves to the crowd after speaking at a campaign gathering with supporters upon placing second place in the New Hampshire republican primary on February 9, 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. Kasich lost the Republican primary to Donald Trump, though he upset fellow Republican governors Chris Christie and former Governor Jeb Bush. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

"In an effort to be polite today, I've created little bit of a situation," Kasich said after a campaign event in St. George. "Look, you know, Garland is -- I'm gonna have my own picks for the Supreme Court. You know, the fact is, I said that they ought to meet him and talk to him and, you know, I'm not gonna pick somebody who's, you know, obviously not a respecter of the Second Amendment. I don't want people making law and so, nobody should be confused, worked up or upset. He's not gonna be my pick for the Supreme Court."

Kasich noted that his "gut reaction" was that people like Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, had spoken favorably of Garland in the past. "He got a lot of votes. But you know, I'm just trying to be polite sometimes, you know? There's nothing wrong with that. ... Everybody just take a chill pill."

During his interview on Meet The Press, Kasich also defended his strategy of staying in the race and attempting to amass delegates for an ultimate fight for the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer.

"Let me also tell you, no one is going to that convention with enough delegates. I will have more delegates moving in there that will give me momentum," Kasich said.

When pressed about what could happen when he and the other non-Trump candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, split the vote in states like Utah, Kasich responded, "maybe Ted ought to get out because he can't win in the fall. And maybe these people that are hot on that ought to tell him to do it."

Kasich also again flatly denied that there's any chance he would consider a spot as a running mate with either of his Republican competitors. He said "under no circumstances," would he serve as Trump's vice president. "Are you people kidding me?" and that there's "absolutely" no chance he would run under Cruz, either.

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