When John Kasich – a guy with a good deal of experience on both sides of the conservative interview table – called in to Laura Ingraham’s show the other day I think everyone was expecting it to go pretty smoothly.

It didn’t.

John started off sounding annoyed and he spent over half the interview angrily refusing to answer Laura’s first question – which she rephrased a number of times and ended up answering herself. About halfway through you can pretty much imagine Laura Ingraham looking over at her producer asking WHO THE HELL BOOKED THIS MORON??

Here’s the audio…

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There’s a reason Republican politicians like John Kasich like to do interviews with conservative talk show hosts like Laura Ingraham: they are really easy.

The questions are all softballs and the host and the audience want you to succeed. Interviews like this don’t require a lot of preparation and they provide an opportunity for guests to rattle off their talking points to audience made up entirely of supporters.

The hosts always ask easy questions and, if you’re having a problem giving a good answer, the host will help you out.

It’s really hard to screw up an interview like this. As long as you are calm and work with the host and don’t get angry and annoyed. John Kasich seems to have a problem doing any of these things – even when he’s dealing with people who agree with him on every issue and are trying to help him out.

Lord help anyone who actually disagrees with Governor John Kasich. I’m fairly confident the people who are accepting positions in Kasich’s cabinet have absolutely no idea what they are getting themselves into.

Anyway, here’s an overview of the interview in case you are interested:

The interview starts up with Ingraham asking Kasich to respond to the press release in which ODP Chairman Chris Redfern calls out Kasich for picking all white males for his cabinet. It was really a softball question that Kasich could have easily answered, turned around on Redfern and/or brought back to his talking points.

He could have gone with the old “I picked the best people for the job – people I think are going to help me bring jobs back to Ohio” etc. Better yet, he could have taken the high road and gone with something like “I understand the Democrats are upset and unhappy about losing the election but I think we can all agree that we want to do what’s best for the state and I look forward to working with the Democrats in the legislature to help get Ohio back on its feet.”

In 30 seconds he would have been done and looked like a classy guy. Instead Kasich flat out refused to answer the question. How do I respond? “I don’t respond” says Kasich,

Laura obviously seems a bit confused by his answer and digs further, bringing up Ray Miller’s defense of Kasich, to which Kasich responds he will “give that guy a hug” the next time he sees him but he still refuses to answer the question and Ingraham seems unsatisfied with this weird response.

She pushes him one more time saying that it would be “good to hear the incoming Governor call people out for dividing, not bringing the state together”. She basically gives him an answer here. She has stepped up and placed the softball on a T and handed John a big oversized bat.

And John still refuses to even take a swing.

He now insists he isn’t going to answer the question because “Nobody in Ohio knows anything about this guy” … “Nobody knows and nobody cares.”

Ingraham seems to be getting really annoyed that Kasich isn’t playing along: “It’s Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redern? Nobody in Ohio knows….?” – and Kasich angrily interrupts again with “so what?!”

At this point Laura gives up and basically answers her own question. Kasich, still acting annoyed (surprise!), tells Laura that no one has ever asked him this question before and that she should ask his press secretary.

By now the interview is half over and Laura tries to defuse the tension by shutting up and letting Kasich ramble on with his Ohio-sucks-and-I-have-statistics-to-prove-it campaign speech.

Eventually she comes back around and asks John another very-leading softball question about collective bargaining which John again refuses to answer. “Everything is on the table”, says John.