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Politics Kasich finds it hard to rule out 2020

19:16  30 april  2017
19:16  30 april  2017 Source:   thehill.com

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John Kasich returned to the national spotlight this week with criticism for the GOP and President Trump, raising questions about the former Republican presidential candidate’s political future.

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Kasich finds it hard to rule out 2020 © Provided by The Hill Kasich finds it hard to rule out 2020

Ohio Gov. John Kasich returned to the national spotlight this week with criticism for the GOP and President Trump, raising questions about the former Republican presidential candidate's political future.

It's clear that the governor wants to distinguish his brand of conservatism from Trump's, a point the governor made repeatedly during a presidential bid that saw him become the last option in the primary for "#NeverTrump" Republicans. But what's less clear now is what comes next for the governor, whose term expires in early 2019.

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Kasich -- who suspended his 2016 presidential bid in May of that year, and only claimed a win in his home state of Ohio after consistently lagging far behind Trump in all major polls -- said he has a slew of advisers analyzing his prospective candidacy every day.

Kasich is a popular two-term governor of Ohio who is term-limited out of office in 2018. He recently launched a political organization to help him In February, he correctly predicted that the inability to bridge the divide between moderates and the hard -right House Freedom Caucus could doom the effort.

While Trump may embody the opposite of Kasich's school of conservative politics, Kasich's options are limited as long as Trump sits in the Oval Office.

"Kasich is kind of in limbo-his time as governor will end when he's termed out, he doesn't have a path toward any other office in Ohio, and if Trump runs for reelection, I doubt he'll challenge him," said Ryan Williams, a former aide on 2012 GOP Mitt Romney's presidential bid.

"But he's trying to keep his name in the mix in case President Trump decides not to run again... He, like many people, was counting on President Trump to lose in November, expecting to occupy a space in the effort to rebuild the party. But that evaporated the minute Trump won the election."

Every appearance Kasich has made this week on a promotional tour for his new book-including stops at "The View," "The Daily Show" and a brief swing through New Hampshire, a key primary state-builds to the same question: will he run in 2020?

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Both Kasich and Flake have floated the idea of running against the president be the 2020 Republican nominee. President Donald Trump is daring other Republicans to run against him in 2020 , saying they're not likely to unseat him because of strong support from his base.

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. Ohio Gov. John Kasich , a fierce critic of President Donald Trump who challenged him for the of work, talk about respecting work, talk about when you work hard and play by the rules you ought to be able

 Each time, Kasich says a bid is "unlikely," but he doesn't say it's impossible.

During a Friday breakfast with members of the media, one reporter asked him what Kasich will do if he doesn't run in 2020. But Kasich cut the question off.

"What I'm saying is it's unlikely, but I don't know what the future is going to bring for me, or what responsibility or obligation I might feel," he said.

"I'm not writing this book, I'm not here today because I'm running for president. My wife would kill me...but you don't ever say no to anything in life. I never thought I'd be governor."

John Weaver, a longtime aide to the governor and an outspoken GOP critic of Trump, told The Hill that Kasich is not looking toward 2020 or having internal meetings to discuss the prospect.

"He's not trying to be nuanced, he's trying to be honest," he said.

"He learned as a governor that you don't overpromise."

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Kasich hasn't ruled out running against President Donald Trump in 2020 , telling WMUR that "all options are on the table." He has hinted that he might decide to run as a conservative independent. "If I determine that I can (run for president) and it would heal, then I'm likely to do it .

John Kasich 's super PAC Kasich for America fired off a fundraising email touting the Trump critic's job as a CNN contributor. John Kasich begins a new role this week as a regular contributor on CNN,” the email reads. Readers are invited to watch Kasich ’s first interview on CNN on Cuomo Prime Time with

Even many Kasich fans believe he would never challenge the sitting president.

But that refusal to completely swear off a primary challenge could rub the president or his inner circle the wrong way, as the president has shown a willingness to go after political opponents. Following a tough primary campaign, Trump threatened to bankroll a super PAC against Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

And Trump personally made phone calls to undercut the reelection bid of Ohio GOP chairman, a Kasich ally. Trump's preferred candidate won instead.

"As Trump has shown, he's not afraid to go after people he thinks have crossed him," Williams said.

"The biggest example of that in Ohio is Trump's decision to personally intervene to defeat Kasich's hand-picked state party chairman."

The governor's travels have put him back in the national media right as the political world buzzes with stories and analysis of Trump's first 100 days.

It's clear Kasich wants his own more moderate Republican politics to contrast with Trump's more brash approach.

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John Kasich of Ohio has declined to rule out a 2020 campaign in multiple television interviews.CreditMark Wilson/Getty Images. “He’ll continue to speak out and lead on health care and on national security issues, trade policy, economic expansion and poverty,” John Weaver, a political

Officially, Kasich is taking a “maybe yes, maybe no” stance. But his strategist, John Weaver, sure is making it sound like Kasich will get to “yes,” telling The White House counters that Kasich ’s machete will go unnoticed because “no one” is “showing up to that fight.” Except that Trump is himself drawing

The title of Kasich's book - "Two Paths - comes from a primary speech where he railed against the "path" offered by Trump. Asked Friday whether he stands by his criticisms of Trump, Kasich largely punted on a direct answer.

But Kasich noted that, while he was seen as the "boring candidate" for opposing Trump ideas like deporting 13 million undocumented immigrants, building a massive border wall and changing trade delas, Trump's White House has failed to deliver on many of those campaign promises so far.

"With Donald Trump, he was a populist, I'm a populist. He was a negative populist, I'm a positive populist," Kasich said Wednesday on "The Daily Show," highlighting his support of Ohio's Medicaid expansion.

"People are hurting...that's real. So you have two ways of looking at it: you take somebody like that and you say, 'It's somebody else's fault, somebody else ripped you off,' and you drive that anger. Or you can look at them and say, 'This is a terrible thing, but let's work it out, let's figure it out.'"

On Friday, Kasich made the "compassionate" case against the GOP's healthcare plan and Trump's tax plan, the lead items on Trump's legislative agenda.

On healthcare, Kasich worried that the GOP's plan would strip healthcare from millions. And he said that the booming deficits from the massive tax cuts proposed in Trump's tax plan this week would divert resources from social programs, including those than help the drug-addicted and mentally ill.

It's issues like that where allies think Kasich could play a role in the future.

"Whatever John Kasich decides to do, he's going to have a tremendous voice in the future of the Republican Party," a Kasich advisor told The Hill.

"Everyone knows it's unlikely it will be in an electoral role, but the sheer force of his ideas will have an impact on the GOP."

Kasich is open about his disagreements Trump, but he has tried to move on, at least publicly, from his 2016 loss. He brushed aside questions on Friday about leaving the party and called his February trip to the White House "delightful" on Friday, adding that he'd always try to give the president the "best advice" if called upon.

"The governor has said you root for the pilot of the plane you are on," Weaver said. "That doesn't mean you want the same pilot for the next leg."

"You want this pilot to land the plane safely and get the hell out of there."

Analysis | It sure sounds like John Kasich might primary President Trump in 2020 .
Kasich clearly wants to keep his options open. But primarying a sitting president is usually a thankless task. No president has ever lost a primary, in fact. Pat Buchanan took nearly 3 million votes against George H.W. Bush in 1992 but didn't carry a state. In 1980, Ted Kennedy took 12 states against Jimmy Carter. In 1976, Ronald Reagan came as close as anybody and narrowly lost to Gerald Ford. All three sitting presidents wound up losing the general election.There is one case in which a primary succeed. In 1968, Eugene McCarthy and Robert F.

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