INDIANAPOLIS - Using Indiana as a punch line isn't winning Ohio Gov. John Kasich any friends among Hoosiers.
During a speech at the Hamilton County (Ohio) Republican Party's Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner Monday night, Kasich talked up his state, but not without slamming his western neighbors in the process, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
"This is not Indiana where you go to Indianapolis … and then say, 'Where else are we going to go? Gary?'" he told the crowd.
The newspaper pointed out that it isn't the first time Kasich has dismissed Indiana, jokingly calling Hoosiers "foreigners" in his 2012 State of the State address, and taking a jab at the state in a 2012 New York Times Magazine cover article.
"I mean, if you think of Indiana, you've got Indianapolis, and then what?" He threw up his hands. "Terre Haute?" reporter Matt Bai wrote.
In Monday night's speech, Kasich listed thriving cities, great diversity and a central location among Ohio's attributes.
"Young people like Cincinnati, it's a cool happening place," he said. "I think Ohio can be the best state in the country and that's not political puff."
Many Hoosiers responded negatively to Kasich's comments.
"Clearly the governor's never been to Evansville," said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. "We have a lot to offer. We're the third largest city in the state. We have a wonderful downtown arena that seats 10,000. Elton John was there last year. Sold out."
The head of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce said business in Indiana has one thing Kasich hasn't been able to give business in Ohio.