(CNSNews.com) - "I am worried that we have become a country where we are so interested in ourselves and less interested in living a life bigger than ourselves," Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) told a recent gathering at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
"And when you think about that, it affects everything in our society. It affects the kind of movies that are made, the television shows, how we handle sports and how we do politics.
"We are not living in this world just to take care of ourselves. We are living in this world for a higher purpose. And we've got to reignite that flame, and we've got to count on these young people, because they're idealists, right? And we are too," he said to applause.
His comment, made in an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe," came in response to a question about leadership problems in the Republican Party.
Kasich, a former member of Congress, said no one from the Legislative Branch can lead effectively:
"And the reason that's true is because no one really has the ultimate stature to lead. And so what you have is kind of a wandering. And the party appears divided right now. They'll pick a Speaker. I don't know who it's going to be...But with a strong president, you'll have these things united."
Kasich also said it's important to reach across the aisle: "We can fight without having to hate. And there's too much of that personal stuff going on," he said.
"We have to have some degree of bipartisan buy-in. And right now, it's just a -- it's a mess. And it will straighten itself out. I'm not panicked about that. What I'm worried about is that we get a president that doesn't know what he or she wants to do. There's a lack of leadership and not an understanding of how Congress works.
"And I worry about that. I'm concerned about that.
"And I'll tell you oone other thing I'm concerned about. And I'm glad I got to the subject.
"I am worried that we have become a country where we are so interested in ourselves and less interested in living a life bigger than ourselves -- being a center of healing and justice."