“Tonight’s results make one thing clear: John Kasich is the best choice moving forward for Republicans who want to stop Donald Trump and win the White House,” the chief presidential campaign strategist for the governor wrote Wednesday, a day after Trump won seven states and Kasich won zero.
John Weaver was successful in weaving the governor’s primary disappointments into upside down thinking that argued losing is his path to winning the nomination. The last poll undertaken by Quinnipiac University shows that even in Ohio, where John Kasich has been governor for five years, where the legislature and all statewide offices are controlled by friendly Republicans, most of whom are on Team Kasich, where major newspapers like The Columbus Dispatch and The Cleveland Plain Dealer have touted the governor, his programs and policies in sycophantic articles extolling his virtues as a people’s politician, Kasich trails Trump by five points and maybe more.
In other news, John Kasich told Fox Business news there is “zero chance” he’ll consider being someone’s vice president. That is probably right, because whomever does become the nominee probably won’t consider Kasich as Veep for many reasons, not the least of which is that few who know him can envision John Kasich talking ten seconds about anyone but himself. Other reasons include the pinata of scandals under the Kasich Administration that have yet to fall into news.
In an editorial on the GOP race, the very conservative Washington Times said what media, mostly in Ohio, are afraid to say. “Ben Carson and John Kasich are irrelevant as candidates, and can only create the divided vote Mr. Trump has exploited in primary after primary. If they could clear the field Ted Cruz might have a chance.”
Weaver Weaves Crazy Kasich Quilt
But having been thumped by Trump, even in Kasich’s ballyhooed second place win in New Hampshire in early February, Weaver trolls media by predicting “the race is moving onto his home turf and the race will fully reset when it gets to Ohio on March 15.” Weaver is pushing the campaign meme that if only voters can hear the governor’s uplifting message, they’ll flock to him. With no wins under his belt so far, Camp Kasich is crowing “our position has never been stronger.”
The day after Super Tuesday, when Donald Trump won seven state contests, Ted Cruz won two and Marco Rubio won one, there are reports that Kasich has been asked to get out. Staying in the race in Virginia, some said, prevented Rubio from claiming it as his second win. Camp Kasich, of course, argues the opposite. Weaver says that twice as many Rubio second-choice voters go to Kasich than to Trump, and that Rubio’s presence in the race is keeping Republicans from consolidating around Governor Kasich.
Kasich points to Trump’s lead over Rubio in Florida by almost 20 points, but refuses to admit that the term-limited governor is losing to Trump in Ohio. People who attended Trump’s fly-in rally in Columbus yesterday, think Kasich won’t win and may lose by even more than five percent once Ohio voters realize it’s alright to come out of the closet of shame about Trump and put Ohio in his win column on March 15. The long game for Camp Kasich and other establishment Republican officials is to stop him from becoming the GOP nominee by heisting the nomination from him through back-room, insider rule changes to the convention that will deny the movement Trump says he’s generated this year.
Camp Kasich is saying things about Rubio that easily be applied to Ohio’s governor, who has undergone radical reconstructive surgery of his crusty, off-putting personality to the silly notion that he’s the “prince of peace and light.” Even a well-conceived, high-financed marketing campaign won’t work if people don’t want to buy the product. Weaver said about Rubio. “It’s going to take a candidate who has produced results,” Weaver said, adding, “Only John Kasich can consolidate the Republican Party and win in November.”
Push back on Weaver’s logic are many who say that if Rubio does exit the race, his votes will flow more naturally to Ted Cruz, a tried and true conservative, than John Kasich who rubbed Tea Party aficionados in Ohio the wrong way by accepting Medicaid expansion and has accepted the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage as legal. In his debate performances so far, John Kasich is clearly the most liberal of the GOP pack of candidates, that has winnowed down from 17 the five. But Kasich’s long Washington insider resume is working against him this year, as voters turning out for Trump in increasingly large numbers show they want an outsider to go to Washington to “turn it upside down,” as Gov. Chris Christie told voters at a Trump rally in Columbus yesterday.
Kasich is whistling past the graveyard, and will die a sad death if he can’t beat Trump in his home state by a significant margin, given it’s been his home turf for nearly 40 years as a professional performance politician.
Not winning any races so far, according to Kasich’s thought leader Weaver, is “executing our campaign plan.” Until John Kasich jumped into the presidential race last July, he had enjoyed one win after another in a safe congressional district for 18 years, and two statewide wins for governor four years apart. In a little over a month, John Kasich has lost 15 straight races in which his name has been on the ballot.
And while John Weaver was trying to weave hay into gold, others were pointing to Gov. Kasich’s brewing scandal in his own education department over for-profit charter schools. “Gov. John Kasich is back in Michigan today, fresh off losing every single Super Tuesday state, and he’s hoping reporters don’t ask him about a growing scandal within his Department of Education about charter schools — an industry that just so happens to contribute millions to Kasich and Ohio Republican officials,” The Ohio Democratic Party blasted out Wednesday.
“John Kasich is running all over the country, as his education department is ignoring a major crisis — or worse, enabling — for-profit charter school operators that are wasting millions of taxpayer dollars,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “If Kasich is serious about being vetted as a potential nominee, he should answer questions about whether his administration has been rigging the system to benefit his campaign donors.”
Reporters Still Asleep On Kasich For-Profit Charter School Scandal
A trapdoor that awaits Kasich, that no reporters have asked him to explain on the campaign trail, opens up wide when voters learn the husband of his one-time chief of staff turned presidential campaign manager Beth Hansen, illegally altered for-profit charter school data so some of the worst performers could still tap taxpayer dollars. False and likely illegal manipulations made by David Hansen helped Ohio win a $71 million federal grant that could go toward expanding charters by one-third, from 300 to 400 schools statewide. The plan is for the new charters to replace public schools in urban districts, including Youngstown, ODP said via email today.
Hansen, hired by Kasich, resigned after allegations surfaced that he broke state law by scrubbing charter school data, that then was included in the grant application. Hansen resigned, as did Dr. Richard Ross, Kasich’s head of Ohio schools.
Plunderbund has been the leader in exposing the scandal, providing public record documents, including emails, that show the depth of involvement by some of Gov. Kasich’s closest advisers in a sandal that national reporters have yet to pay attention to.