Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) described calls by fellow GOP presidential contenders Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) to monitor, proactively police and patrol Muslim communities in the United States as simplistic, knee-jerk reactions to the threat of terrorism.

During the 2016 election cycle, Kasich has continually sought to frame himself as a kind of elder statesman, the seasoned lawmaker and decision-maker capable of balancing competing priorities and building coalitions. Cruz and Trump have basically demonstrated that they do not have the temperament, habits or skill to do the same, according to the Kasich campaign.

And on Sunday, wrestling with a delegate count that places him firmly behind front-runner Trump and second-place Cruz in the contest for the GOP nomination, Kasich extended his campaign narrative to national security. During the broadcast of an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd that aired on "Meet the Press," Kasich seemed to extend that read to Trump and Cruz's responses to terrorist attacks in Brussels last week. This is the key portion of the Todd-Kasich exchange pulled from a show transcript.

TODD: Yesterday I was joined by Ohio governor and current Republican presidential candidate, John Kasich. And I started by asking him about the Brussels attacks and why he thinks so many Republicans who have voted in the primaries agree with calls from Trump and Cruz to not just ban Muslims from entering the United States but even introduce extra surveillance in Muslim communities in America.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think when they see things it makes them very concerned and very nervous and so it's sort of a knee-jerk, I think, Chuck.
But let's talk practically here. In order for us to have great human intelligence — I want the public to hear this — we are going to have to have intimate communication and coordination with our friends in the Muslim community. There is no question about it.
I mean, in order to find out about the radicalized friends and neighbors or people that you may not even know at all, who you observe doing things, this has to be a coordinated effort worldwide.
One other thing I want to say, Chuck, that is that I think we ought to have a dramatically reformed NATO. Right now we think of NATO as a military organization. I think it needs to involve itself in policing and in intelligence gathering because, when we look at Europe right now, we find there's so many holes and an inability of — their ability to get their act together.
TODD: But you've got a Europe right now where every country feels as if it's every country for themselves. I mean, we talk about —
KASICH: Well, yes.
TODD: — nativism in this country, you have, in every Western European country right now, sort of a similar pattern, where there's distrust of their own allies....
KASICH: Well, look, either we hang together or we hang separately is really what the message from a good leader is. And, Chuck, let me — this is a little bit of a different illustration.
But in our state, whenever we have a difficulty somewhere, almost our entire cabinet shows up. I have told them all that we work together to solve a problem. We can't have silos. We just have to work together.
That is what the President of the United States needs to communicate to our allies around the world. And, frankly, it's got to include our friends in the Arab Muslim community.

Both Cruz and Trump called last week for more aggressive monitoring of largely Muslim communities. Trump sanctioned the use of waterboarding and "a lot more" to ostensibly prevent terror attacks.

The suggestions by Cruz and Trump raise serious questions for American police and intelligence officers.

In the past few years, a growing number of Americans have become cognizant of a phenomenon about which civil rights and civil liberties activists have long complained. The so-called proactive policing in communities of color nationwide has boosted arrests and imprisonment to globally unprecedented levels and puts residents at increased risk of deadly and dangerous encounters with police. And all of this serves to weaken, if not poison, police community relationships, increasing the odds that fewer people will report crimes and suspicious activities to law enforcement when they see them.