Ohio’s lame duck governor is ready to duck and cover when it comes to helping his party’s presumptive presidential nominee win the general election this fall.
John Weaver, Gov. John Kasich’s top political adviser, said there had never been any possibility that his boss would join forces with Donald Trump, the New York Times reported Tuesday. The governor will defend “his own brand of Republicanism” and hasn’t been shy in blasting the Donald.
“We made sure there were no expectations back in May,” Mr. Weaver said. “No avenue. No way. Not happening. Forget about it.”
The 64-year Ohio leader’s reputation, honed over nearly 40 years in elected public office mostly during his 18 self-promotional years in the U.S. House in Washington, is best remembered for his self-centered ego and self-righteous personality that cements him at the center of the political universe with everyone else in orbit around him.
Kasich Integrity Criticized
Still smarting from his 49 state primary losses, Gov. Kasich will apparently be a sideshow in Cleveland next week when Republicans gather to nominate the Big Apple billionaire and businessman folk hero who thoroughly thrashed Mr. Kasich and more than a dozen other GOP White House wannabes throughout the long, grueling primary season that started in Iowa early this year.
Ohio’s 69th and now term-limited governor said he won’t support Trump, and perversely would consider it “just life” if the Big Orange Machine loses to Democrats in Ohio and elsewhere. It’s another reminder that John Kasich is not a team player when he isn’t on the team or the deck isn’t stacked in his favor.
‘It’s not on me,’ the governor said about a Trump loss in November. “If he was to lose Ohio and lose the election and people would blame me, that’s just life,” Mr. Kasich said in a published report.
Gov. Kasich dropped out of the Republican race on May 4 after Hoosier State voters rewarded Donald Trump with another first-place finish. John Kasich is widely known for his acerbic personality and for his long-memory and retaliatory tactics for those who find themselves at odds with him. Dropping out as he did still sticks in Kasich’s craw when the off-putting governor showed how much its festered after National Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus proclaimed Donald Trump the presumptive nominee before Kasich, short on money with only one win under his belt, quit.
“I was still in it and I think he [Priebus] dissed me, and I think it’s inappropriate,” Mr. Kasich said. He added, “I haven’t spoken to him [Priebus]. I don’t think there’s any point to it. I don’t even understand what he was doing. It was amateur hour for him.”
Reports say Mr. Priebus has tried to woo the reluctant Ohio leader to be a more loyal Republican, even promising Mr. Kasich help in the future, should he have another political race in him. That prospect seems pure fiction if Democrats and Hillary Clinton win both the White House and the Senate this fall as polling predicts she will and Democrats can do if down-ticket election winds blow their way.
If it’s political amateur hour for anyone, John Kasich’s poor performing presidential campaign and overt hostility to the man who beat him badly at the ballot box makes him a fading star that’s lost its twinkle. Kasich said no one cares what he says, and for once he’s right about an observation nearly all other political watchers arrived at months ago after watching him flounder from one state to another with the exception of Ohio.
There’s A Draft Kasich Movement?
Any draft Kasich movement that exists is more a figment of the governor’s imagination than any real movement among the GOP masses to rally to dump Trump and substitute John Kasich. Camp Kasich says the wounded warrior won’t disrupt the convention, but his hostility toward Trump—which some say shows his lack of integrity for not promising to back the GOP nominee as he pledged to do early in the campaign season—stands in stark contrast to that of his GOP buddy, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who in spite of being in a tough toss-up race with his Democratic challenger, Ted Strickland, has endorsed Trump.
John Kasich will have no formal role at the convention in Cleveland. What he could be doing, though, is shoring up GOP state campaign workers in Ohio. Reports say Republicans thought they were going to see 220 paid staffers by May, but that’s turned out to be about 50.
Kasich Is No Bernie Sanders
Meanwhile, with a governor like John Kasich refusing to get on-board the Trump train even though his pals New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence have a ticket to tide, Democrats are closing ranks around Hillary Clinton.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared in New Hampshire Tuesday with Mrs. Clinton to pledge his support to help her win the General Election in November. Sen. Sanders endured a hard-fought primary season with the former secretary of state only to lose to her. Sanders lost to Clinton but had the integrity today to endorse her. Gov. Kasich won’t do the same for Donald Trump.
John Kasich fiddling while the GOP burns is just fine with Democrats, who enjoyed President Obama announcing last week that he’s with her. Even though media portrays the race as one Trump can win, it’s an uphill slog for Republicans this year. And in light of Ohio voting for Bill and Hillary Clinton when they’ve been on the ballot here in the past, John Kasich’s selfish attitude to withhold his support for Mr. Trump will only paint Ohio blue again this year as happened in 2008 and 2012.
Mr. Kasich couldn’t stop president Obama from winning Ohio in 2012 and he won’t be able to stop Hillary Clinton from winning Ohio in 2016, as election gurus have already predicted.