To play the role of Mr. Nice Guy as long as he has this election year, Ohio Gov. John Kasich—whose biographical narrative emphasizes his leadership style that enjoys stepping on toes to get his way—relies on others doing the dirty work for him.
From the first GOP debate last year to the last this year, while Trump fought with Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush, among others, the Pennsylvania-born guy who once aspired to be a Catholic priest but found his fame and fortune in elected politics instead, can assume the persona of reasonableness when compared to the rest of the 16 Republicans who set out last year on the same journey to be president.
Not wanting to soil his hands with direct take downs of his rivals, especially New York billionaire Donald Trump, who shellacked him in yesterday’s New York state Republican primary by a margin greater than Gov. Kasich defeated his beleaguered Democratic rival just two years to win his final term, Kasich’s campaign does what it does best, blame someone else for its shortcomings.
“If the Never Trump movement was serious, they’d be going all out to keep Trump under 50 percent in New York and to weaken him across the April 26 states in the Northeast where Gov. Kasich is running a strong second. Their failure to act is inexplicable,” John Weaver, Kasich’s chief strategist, said in a statement reported by NBC News. Kasich, who’s new rational to stay in the race is to skim off votes from Trump or Cruz to keep them under the threshold of delegates to arrive at the nominating convention in July with enough delegates to win on the first ballot, didn’t go after Trump in New York, either. Kasich ended up being the only Republican candidate running advertisements in New York, and those attack ads attacked Cruz.
For the “Stop Trump” movement, Kasich could put his money where his mouth is by stepping up to ask his donors to kick in a few bucks to the cause. But basic Kasich won’t allow that to happen, and for good reason it seems once campaign finances are taken into account.
One good explanation why Camp Kasich is whining their candidate only won three of New York’s 95 delegates—Ted Cruz won zero—comes with reports that Gov. Kasich’s campaign cash machine is weak. With limited cash on hand, John Kasich is necessarily co-dependent on other campaigns with more cash—like Ted Cruz’s campaign—running down the Donald.
Kasich Cash [Or Lack Of]
The AP reports that John Kasich’s campaign for president realized “only modest gains last month, and it ended up much like where it started that month,” in spite of winning his home state of Ohio on March 15. Kasich’s campaign reported starting April with just a little over $1 million in cash on hand, about the same amount he had at the beginning of March, the AP said, adding, “Ted Cruz’s campaign raised $12.5 million during March, a month that saw him post several primary victories and solidify his No. 2 position behind Trump in the GOP field.” Kasich’s PAC only has $1.2 million cash on hand after dumping funds into television and radio ads to win Ohio, which he did but he only got 46 percent of the vote even though he beat Trump by 11 points.
It’s long been known that the big bucks behind Kasich can be sourced mostly to Ohio, where he controls the executive branch and has great influence with a very friendly Republican-led legislature. In its FEC filing, the super PAC also reported raising $2.8 million, the bulk of which came from a handful of donors. “Some of the group’s six-figure backers included hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller, who gave $400,000. Quicken Loans founder and chairman Dan Gilbert and hedge fund manager David Tepper, president of Appaloosa Management L.P., both gave $250,000 as did Gordon Gund, CEO of Gund Investment Group,” the AP wrote. “Charles G. Butt, CEO of supermarket chain H-E-B, gave $150,000, and the super PAC also benefited from a $100,000 contribution from HJK LLC, a company controlled by former New York Post publisher and real estate developer Peter S. Kalikow.”
Kasich 4th In 3-Man Race
With his 32nd loss under his belt after Trump beat him by 35 points Tuesday, his reputation is that he’s now the fourth man in a three-candidate race. Kasich’s days of saying he’s not interested in tearing someone else down because he only wants to focus on telling story could be approaching the end of its useful life.
After the New York primary yesterday, the official delegate county has Donald Trump at 846, Ted Cruz at 548, Marco Rubio at 173 and John Kasich with 149. Sen. Rubio dropped out at he lost Florida a month ago when Kasich won his only state, Ohio.