Poor John Kasich, nobody pays attention to him. His positive conservative message of rising above partisan politics to bring people together to fix problems, something he says he’s done in Ohio and can do nationally if given a chance, just isn’t winning the hearts and minds of voters in 32 states so far who have gone with other candidates, namely Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

And that’s just one of Mr. Kasich’s big problems. But in Kasich world, where outside voices with different opinions are soon shown the door or run over, his aging ego interprets his long odds going forward as his call to stay in the race to Cleveland, where his plan to win the nomination will either materialize or vanish in the mist of wishful thinking that he and he alone can win in November. He does after all, as he’s said so often, love to be underestimated.

Kasich’s Crazy Talk In DC

Appearing before the Washington Post editorial board, Gov. Kasich held to his idea that he’s the guy who can beat Democrats and their presumed candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the fall. His only Trump card to be the nominee rests with questionable polling showing him beating her. She, of course, is well know, while he is virtually unvetted by national media.

“I just see no reason not to continue forward,” Kasich told WaPo, according to a transcript of the interview. “Our problem always is resources, attention. We don’t get – I’m not whining about this. I’m just telling you the way we see it. And we’re raising money and we’re just doing better. And we’re just going to keep going.”

Much closer to home, back in Toledo, Ohio, The Blade newspaper wrote, “Mr. Kasich has failed in this campaign. He has won one state.” The Blade newspaper, which did not endorse Gov. Kasich or either of his two opponents for governor in 2014, accused him of “Orwellian thinking” based on his argument that he’s winning because he beat Mr. Cruz in New York for second place. “It is borderline delusional thinking,” the editorial concluded. “Winning would be coming in first, not second. It would mean beating Mr. Trump for first place, not beating Mr. Cruz for second,” The Blade said, adding, “The problem is that the case Mr. Kasich is making for himself is irrational — I am winning though I am losing; I am most electable though I can only win in my home state — and ultimately undemocratic.

Back in DC, where WaPo has little clue of what’s really going on in Ohio, Kasich had the advantage. “And if you look at Ohio, you know, we have so many ideas, new ideas, newfangled ideas in Ohio it’s unbelievable, and they’re paying off. It’s the same thing I did when I was here, whether it was reforming the Pentagon or fixing the budget. So it’s not my nature to say, okay, I’m going to smear this guy and therefore I can rise,” Kasich said, fearing none of them would know enough to counter that things are not paying off.

From northwest Ohio, The Blade sees things differently. “There hasn’t been an Ohio miracle. And most of northwest Ohio (as well as northeast Ohio and southern Ohio) is still waiting for the recovery that has reached much of the American economy,” it said, countering Gov. Kasich’s self-congratulating idea that Ohio is doing great when it isn’t.

Kasich Talks Crazy In DC

Ohio’s glib governor wanted WaPo staffers to just believe his programs will work, even though he offers little if any details on them. Kasich was pressed more than once on the point that other candidates give out enough information so that the credibility of their program proposals can be assessed, but Kasich recoiled at that idea. “No, it’s 28, 25, 10 with an earned income tax credit and fewer deductions,” he said about his tax plan, which is so absent details that it can’t be scored. “Deductions for state and local taxes and charity. That’s what the plan is. Okay? It’s not – I mean, what more do you need? I can tell you what the rates are. I mean, what’s so difficult about this? That’s the outline of it. What else do we need? It’s like how are you going to balance the budget? What, I’m going to send you a 30-page document here that shows all the little details of this? I mean, come on.”

Measured Reaction

Other media picked up on Gov. Kasich’s rambling interview that echoed one he gave to the New York Daily News that showed he can pinball his answers at will. Business Insider’s piece on it, “John Kasich said some very strange things in his interview with the Washington Post,” said “the interview transcript suggests a candidate weirdly disengaged from the race he is running, and even the party he wants to represent.”

Seeing in similar terms, New York Magazine’s [NYM] piece, “John Kasich Reveals Secret Balanced-Budget Plan Is Stored in Undisclosed Location in Columbus, Ohio,” saw the comedy in the governor’s answers about his tax plan that said he doesn’t need details to show, just take his word for it.

“John Kasich has been running for president as the candidate of sobriety and ‘ideas,’ the main one of which is his ‘plan’ to balance the budget. The trouble, as I’ve noted, is that such a plan does not exist,” Jonathan Chait at NYG wrote.

In “Republican Extremist Gets High Marks from Washington Post,” noted economist Dean Baker was also taken aback by what Gov. Kasich said. “Anyhow, the Post apparently thinks great things about a candidate who seems to have zero understanding of economics and has no ideas on how to address a potentially catastrophic environmental problem. It is worth noting that he proposed tax cuts, rather than tax increases for the rich,” Baker said.

 

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