Ohio Gov. John Kasich is doubling down on an attitude that hasn’t really done much for him in the past couple of years. Speaking to “State of the Union” host Dana Bash, Gov. Kasich defended Republicans Dean Heller and Brian Sandoval’s decision to oppose the GOP healthcare bill.
“I don’t think we have enough leadership,” Kasich stated. “I think too many people cower, you know, in the wings because of partisanship. Not just Republicans; Democrats as well. If you try to get a great number of governors, Republican or Democrat, to speak out on this, where are they? All you hear are crickets and chirping because they’re, they’re worried about upsetting their base.”
Kasich went on to commend the two Nevada Republicans for their opposition to the the Senate healthcare bill and their sympathy to “poor people.”
“Not only Heller, but Sandoval – Sandoval is a great governor. His popularity is sky high in Nevada and you know what he’s saying? ‘I’m worried about poor people.’ You know what – both parties, both parties ought to be worried about poor people,” Kasich said on CNN.
This is nothing new from the Buckeye governor.
During his failed bid for the White House, Kasich channeled two major themes on the campaign trail: kindness and bipartisanship. State to state, he spoke daily about the need to care for the sick and elderly, love each other and to reach out to the other side of the aisle. He constantly spoke of the ills of partisanship and how we need to use the political process to become more compassionate.
This was (at the very least) a well-intended strategy… but it got the Ohio governor nowhere.
Kasich lingered in the 2016 presidential primary long after it was obvious he wouldn’t be taking home the gold. In many state contests, Kasich barely registered as an asterisk. He finally dropped out with only one state in the win column: his home state of Ohio. On the other hand, the Republican who did win the GOP primary contest (decisively so) was a bombastic TV personality who seemingly showed no empathy to his adversaries.
Clearly, we can take something away from this. There was a yearning by the electorate for a no-filter, say-it-like-it-is, outsider. There was no appetite for John Kasich’s model of unabashed sweet talk.
Despite this strategy failing by embarrassing proportions – the Ohio governor is sticking with it. He is against the healthcare bill because he feels it is “inadequate.” Not “inadequate” meaning it doesn’t go far enough to repeal Obamacare. No, it’s inadequate in that it’s too conservative and doesn’t have enough safety nets for those dependent on the government. Explaining his opposition, Kasich told the tender story of a recent trip to a Wendy’s restaurant. There he saw special needs children who were participating in the Special Olympics. He wondered if the GOP healthcare legislation would help people like them.
A touching story – yes. But are people buying what he has to sell?
Watch the eight-and-a-half minute video here: