Remember this guy? That GOP presidential contender who never really ended up gaining much traction — winning only one state, his home state of Ohio — but insisted on carrying on long after being mathematically eliminated from securing the nomination? In fact, you may recall Ohio Gov. John Kasich only finally suspended his bid after Donald Trump became the presumptive nominee and Ted Cruz — who had far surpassed him in the primary race — bowed out of the race. When Kasich finally dropped out, he had fewer delegates than Marco Rubio — who had dropped out nearly two months earlier.
And, despite his earlier pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, Kasich not only refused to put his support behind Trump, he also declined to even make an appearance at this year’s Republican National Convention — in his own home state of Ohio.
Gov. Kasich’s actions in this presidential election cycle — his apparent sour grapes and increasing displays of narcissism — have soured many former supporters on him.
Now, Kasich is back grabbing a few headlines — and pretty sure this latest move won’t do much to endear him to supporters, former or current.
Not only is Ohio Gov. John Kasich not worried about a potential political backlash for sitting down with President Barack Obama on Friday to discuss their common ground on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the former Republican presidential candidate said in a CNN interview that he would embrace such criticism.
“Oh, I frankly I welcome it,” Kasich told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview on Anderson Cooper 360º.
Bash pressed, “You welcome the backlash?”
“I welcome the fact that people will criticize me for putting my country ahead of my party. It’s time we start doing this in this country. We are not a parliamentary system and we were never taught to hate people because they may be in a different political party,” Kasich said. “You know, when it comes to the president, he and I have a lot of disagreements. But there are areas that we can agree. If I can become somebody in the front that leads an effort for people to hear this and say you know what maybe he’s right, what would I do? Shrink? Go hide somewhere? That’s not who I am.”
Ummm, “go hide somewhere” — isn’t that kinda what you did during the Republican National Convention by not showing up? Though, to be fair, you did try to steal some of the spotlight by holding your own meetings elsewhere. So, yeah, I guess that’s not hiding. It’s just plain old sour grapes and narcissism.
Kasich made his support of the TPP a significant point of emphasis during his campaign, putting him at odds with both eventual GOP nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
And despite his pledge last year to support the eventual Republican nominee, Kasich said he has still not decided whether he will support Trump or someone else. Remarking that he is not voting for Clinton, Kasich added, “I’ll let everybody know when but I think my actions have spoken very loudly. Louder than even my words.”
“Gary Johnson?” Bash asked Kasich, who responded, “I haven’t even gone there yet. It’s a long way till Election Day.”
Sorry, Gov. Kasich, not buying your line about “doing what’s best for the country” here. Agree with the concept in theory, no doubt. However, you would seem to have put aside your party for yourself — not for your country. And — even putting aside the issues with the TPP — knowing that in this presidential election, any vote not for the GOP presidential nominee is, in essence, a vote for Hillary Clinton, debunks your suggestion outright that you are “putting your country ahead of your party.”
And to those who suggest Kasich is simply “standing on principle,” that argument is significantly weakened, in my humble opinion, when he abandoned his pledge to stand by the eventual nominee. Isn’t keeping one’s pledge core to principle?
Disappointing to say it, but the legacy that you seem to have left in this 2016 election cycle is that you are out for yourself more than either party or country.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]