When it rains it pours. Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich, the self-described “change agent,” got rained on big time in a deluge of un-friendly hot water delivered by Republicans calling for him to get out of the race for president.
“You can’t lose every state and expect to be the nominee,” Texas Senator Ted Cruz said indirectly about where Kasich’s long slog so far. Meanwhile, Trump’s supporters described Ohio’s 69th governor as “a tool of the establishment to siphon off just enough delegates to force a contested convention where GOP insiders can steal the nomination.”
Robert Draper, writing for The New York Times Magazine, took a whack at him on why the GOP establishment doesn’t like him. That was followed by another piece from the Times wondering why the famously abrasive, combative politician is now so suddenly soft and cuddly?
Kasich got pounded further by Rich Lowry, Editor of National Review, who attacked the 63-year-old, term-limited Ohio leader in Politico Magazine. As Lowry put t, “Kasich’s finish on Western Tuesday would have been enough to embarrass any lesser mortal out of the race.” Another less than complimentary post came in the New York Post when conservative commentator John Podhoretz that told Kasich and Cruz they would never get nominated at the convention in Cleveland in July.
Then on Thursday, the Washington Times [WT], a house organ for social and fiscal conservatives, lowered the boom on him with an editorial titled “John Kasich’s horrible, no good, very bad campaign.”
In it, WT staff writer Kelly Riddell look at his record as a candidate and calls it “terrible.” First off, in the year of the outsider, he calls John Kasich “the ultimate political insider.” He campaigned in Ohio in 2012 for Mitt Romney, and his current team is made up, almost entirely, of establishment insiders.
Next in line to take a beating was Camp Kasich’s hope that it will get all the Jeb! Bush money if Sen. Marco Rubio lost Florida, which he did forcing his hand to drop out, and the Ohio governor won Ohio, which he did. “Nothing more anti-establishment than leaning on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s donors to help fuel your campaign,” Riddell wrote.
With bat in hand, WT swung at his “shaky performance” on the campaign trail that includes “numerous policy flip-flops.” One included him saying on weekend political talk shows that he’d think about President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia, then backtracked off camera, saying, “He’s not gonna be my pick for the Supreme Court.”
Riddell found foreign relations flaws in Kasich, from saying repeatedly that the U.S. should get out of nation-building and creating democracy’s across the world to what he’d do about the Iran nuclear deal. Kasich was criticized for pitching the idea of the U.S. government creating an entirely new agency to ‘beam messages around the world’ of American liberty and values” and for taking so long to come to his conservative common senses that he’d cancel it.
“Republican primary voters are not stupid,” Riddell says. Gov. Kasich lost 27 states in a row before winning his home state of Ohio, and that with only “$1.5 million cash-on-hand, zero momentum and no track record,” he’s not betting on the change agent to finish first anytime soon, like in Wisconsin soon.
The Washington Times said what everyone is thinking except for John Kasich, who tried once before in 2000 to run for president and who knows once he bows out he’ll be a footnote for historians writing about the 2016 election cycle.
“John Kasich, it’s time for you to pack your bags and head back to Ohio.”
We may have started the fire on John Kasich, but Republicans are throwing fuel on like nobody’s business.