“As I suspend my campaign today, I have renewed faith, deeper faith, that the Lord will show me the way forward and fulfill the purpose of my life. Thank you and god bless,”Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in Columbus Wednesday, following his third place drubbing in the Indiana Republican primary yesterday.
The day after Hoosiers only gave him about eight percent of the vote, Gov. John Kasich had been scheduled to show up at various money events in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., Wednesday. Then on Thursday, he was scheduled to meet with his national security team. What happened instead, is that he left reporters in Washington D.C. hanging, asking why he wasn’t in DC?
Camp Kasich suddenly changed that schedule, saying the Ohio governor would speak at 5 pm back in Ohio, where Ohioans—by a nearly 60 percent margin—want him to drop out of the Republican race for president.
In his brief remarks announcing the suspension of his second campaign for president, John Kasich, with a look of sadness on his face, talked about some of the people he encountered in town halls, starting in New Hampshire last year. Whether it was giving hugs or comforting someone, Gov. Kasich circled back to his talking points of living a life larger than themselves by lifting people up.
He never mentioned Donald Trump, who has now remained standing as 16 others, including Mr. Kasich today, couldn’t keep pace. He took no questions, so it will be up to someone else to quiz the term-limited governor on whether he will support, and campaign for, Donald Trump now that he’s the presumptive nominee. Kasich has been mentioned as a VP pick for Trump, but many say that won’t happen because Kasich doesn’t want second best, and Trump won’t ask.
By loosing badly again to Mr. Trump, Mr. Kasich trails second-place finisher Ted Cruz and first-place winner Donald Trump by a huge margin. The latest delegate count has Mr. Trump with 996, Sen. Cruz with 565, and Gov. Kasich with 153, The Associated Press reported. At the same time the 63-year old, term-limited governor continues to trails Sen. Marco Rubio, who bowed out in mid-March.
Kasich shutting down his campaign marks the end of his second try to be elected president after his first try in 2000 crashed before it even took off. Mr. Kasich, who gained a reputation over his 18 years in congress and five years as governor of Ohio as a crusty, often times dismissive CEO-style leader, relied on polls showing him best able to beat Hillary Clinton in the fall as his lone rationale to keep running even though he lost every state except his home state.
According to a CNN/ORC poll released Monday, 52 percent said Mr. Cruz should drop out and even more [63%] said Mr. Kasich should drop out,
Gov. Kasich’s refrain is that he’s “peddling hope,” as if his calling to be National Chaplin instead of president might inspire Republicans upset with establishment lane politicians to switch to a candidate who tries to peddle himself off as Hillary lite or the adult Republican in the room. His record, unfortunately, points in the opposite direction. State media gave him a free pass in 2014, when fewer than one in four registered voters in Ohio turned out to vote for him. He won by a large margin, but given voter turnout was the lowest since World War II, that’s not saying much. This year, national media largely bought his positive narrative without vetting it against his less than stellar record as governor.
As has become standard for him on the campaign trail, Gov. Kasich recounted the formula for success he said is simple: commonsense legislation, lower taxes for individuals and business so they can invest in America, a realistic path to a balance budget and the imperative for a federal balanced budget amendment, and running American from the bottom up.
Others disagree with him, and point to how that formula has not worked for Ohio and many of its working families. Democrats, especially, see the Kasich years as harmful one for Ohio. Mr. Kasich, they say, stole local funds from governments and schools in order to give income tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest of middle- and low-income taxpayers. Poverty is up on his watch, job creation lags the national average for 40 straight months.
Gov. Kasich made no mention of the convention in Cleveland, where his plan has been to try to heist the nomination should Mr. Trump not arrive with the needed 1,237 delegates.