After Donald Trump pounded 16 other Republican presidential candidates last year, the only one of the losers landing any time on TV these days is Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who coincidentally has a new book out based on his second failed try to seat himself in the Oval Office.
“Two Paths: America United Or Divided” is on book shelves now, and it’s helped Ohio’s lame-duck governor stay in focus for beltway reporters like Anderson Cooper of CNN fame, who will hold a one-hour chat session with Ohio’s term-limited governor on Monday night at 10 PM.
To help CNN liven up what is anticipated by many to be another hour-of-power for John Kasich to talk about the job he’s done in Ohio, and what he learned on the campaign trail last year, here are a few suggested questions Mr. Cooper could pitch to Kasich that just might make him swing and miss:
- JD Vance, the Buckeye born author of Hillbilly Elegy, is coming back to Ohio to speak on the opioid addiction crusade. Is he stealing your thunder?
- How much has it cost Ohio taxpayers to fund your run for president last year and your book tour this year?
- When you worked at Fox News, as you did for years, did you not see a culture of sexual harassment that ended with the firing of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly? Were they given a raw deal?
- Close political confidants and your top campaign officials were alleged to have played major roles in knocking off the 2014 ballot for governor Charlie Earl, the Libertarian Party of Ohio’s candidate for governor. Did you know about what your closest associates were up to?
- You were raised Catholic, so do you believe in evolution?
- In 2010, you begrudgingly showed just one year’s income tax return. Your campaign filings say your worth somewhere between $9 and $22 million. Donald Trump has refused to reveal his tax returns. Do you agree that candidates for the highest office in the land should show the public their tax returns? If you run again in 2020, will you reveal your tax returns?
- Your office has a reputation for withholding or delaying answers to public records requests? Is that intentional, and if not, why do matters drag on as they do?
- Your first legislative accomplishment was the creation of JobsOhio, a private and secret job creation group. The Ohio Supreme Court has denied a lawsuit seeking to determine whether JobsOhio is constitutional in Ohio. When you first ran for governor, you said you would be chairman of JobsOhio, but the Ohio constitution prevented that from happening. Why do you think JobsOhio is constitutional?
- Ohio’s spent tens of billions to fund for-profit charter schools, but reputable reports say they perform so poorly. Two of Ohio’s biggest owners of for-profit schools are also big donors to you and your campaign. Why do you continue to spend billions on poor performing schools when you talk about government efficiency and effectiveness?
- You said in January of 2016 that Ohio pensions were “rock solid.” None of Ohio’s five pension systems have made there investment return assumptions, and now the Teachers Retirement System has eliminated the cost of living adjustment, while the police and fire pension is cutting health care. Why did you mislead voters with the rock solid claim?
- Do you think candidates running for governor in the future should tell voters in advance that if they are elected to the office they seek, they will also campaign for a higher, out of state office? You ran for governor in 2014, but refused to say whether you’d run for president if you were elected. Is that being truthful to voters, who expect candidates to serve out the term of the office they ran for?
- Why don’t you meet the press back in Ohio, instead of meeting the press in Washington?
- You’ve spoken often about the “Ohio Model” and why other states and officials should do the same thing. Yet you’re now saying Ohio is on the verge of a recession. It’s can’t be doing great and bad at the same time. Please explain.
- You call yourself a moderate, but you’ve signed many bills into law that hurt or harm women seeking to make their own health decisions.
- You said on the campaign trail last year that Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts. Do you still believe that, and what’s your proof they are?
- There’s an eerie equivalence to the billions you’ve taken from local governments and schools and the billions now resting in Ohio’s rainy day fund. Is this just coincidental?
- Poverty and income inequality are rising on your watch. Why is that?
- If you think block granting funds from Washington back to states is a good idea, why isn’t block granting state funds back to Ohio’s 88 counties an equally good idea?
- You like to move “at the speed of business,” but your speed of business in Ohio is now into its 52nd month of being below the national job creation average. Most people like being above average. Why are you now four years into subpar growth?
- The Ohio minimum wage is currently $8.15 an hour. Do you think it should increase, decrease or stay the same?
- Would you support a plan to establish universal health care by lowering the Medicare eligibility age?
- Would support a plan requiring the federal government to only contract with companies that pledge to keep jobs in the United States?
These questions are just a tiny sampling of questions Cooper could direct to Kasich that would force the term-limited CEO to respond to issues and topics he wants to avoid at all costs, since his answers would be embarrassing, and maybe disqualify him as the adult in the room.