Kasich: People are not happy with GOP being 'small, angry and narrow'

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said on Sunday that the Republican Party is "losing the future" by turning off millennials. 

"I look at Alabama and I say people are not happy with us being small, angry and narrow," Kasich said on NBC News's "Meet the Press," referring to last week's special Senate election. "They're starting to say no. That means that most of us who believe in a positive party are beginning to win, but we have a long way to go." 

The Ohio governor also cited stances on various issues, such as immigration, health care and trade, that he said could hinder the GOP in the future. 

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"Instead of losing the future, which is what we're doing today by turning off millennials," Kasich said.  

"We're beginning to see more of a tug of war pulling people toward a better position on the party. That's my sense, so I'm kind of optimistic with some of the things," he said.

Kasich's comments come as the GOP looks to defend Republican strongholds in the House and Senate, as well as in statehouses across the country, in 2018. 

The anti-establishment wing of the GOP suffered a blow last week when Doug Jones became the first Democrat elected to represent Alabama in the Senate in 25 years. 

While establishment Republicans such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Florida becomes epicenter of COVID-19 surge | NYC to require vaccination for indoor activities | Biden rebukes GOP governors for barring mask mandates McConnell warns Schumer cutting off debate quickly could stall infrastructure deal Top House Democrat says party would lose elections if they were held today: report MORE (R-Ky.) supported Moore's primary opponent, Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangePandemic proves importance of pharmaceutical innovation The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE (R-Ala.), President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE and his former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, rallied around Republican Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreRoy Moore loses lawsuit against Sacha Baron Cohen Shelby backs ex-aide over Trump-favored candidate in Alabama Senate race Of inmates and asylums: Today's House Republicans make the John Birchers look quaint MORE, who was plagued by sexual misconduct allegations. 

Kasich, who has proven to be a thorn in the Trump administration's side, has been mentioned as possible 2020 presidential contender. He ran an unsuccessful bid in 2016.