The Ohio governor chatted about his favorite Biblical figures -- Joseph and Joshua are at the top of his list -- and delivered an impromptu speech on a sidewalk in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood, home to a large Orthodox Jewish population, about Judaism's strengths and its links to his faith, Christianity.
Kasich, who grew up Catholic and now worships at an Anglican church, told reporters and a coterie of Jewish men and boys who had assembled around him that the story of Passover reminded him of Jesus Christ. In the story, the ancient Israelites put lamb blood on their door posts to signal to the Angel of Death to pass over their homes, sparing them tragedy, an action he said reminded him of Christianity.
“Jesus Christ is known as the 'Lamb of God,'” he said. “It’s his blood that we believe...."
The loud rush of a subway train cut him off. “Somebody’s not allowing me to give a Bible lesson,” he joked.
Kasich’s attempt to court New York City’s sizable Jewish community comes after his opponent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) toured another matzo bakery in Brooklyn last week. Matzo is eaten during Passover.
Kasich also visited a store selling Jewish books and other goods, where he engaged in a debate about whether Abraham or Moses was the most admired figure in the Old Testament.
“Not enough,” Kasich, who has received millions of votes fewer than his remaining rivals, said to laughter. “Can you help me out?”
He was mobbed by onlookers as he walked out of the school. “God bless you,” he said. “Pray for me, will you?”