Which 2016 candidate, you ask? Why, it’s Ted Cruz, of course. No, just kidding, Cruz is all-in with the Trump campaign in 2020. It’s none other than former Ohio Governor John Kasich, a constant thorn in the side of the Trump administration, and the Trump campaign before that, for years now.
Kasich could be receiving a prime speaking slot, no doubt, at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, held virtually but centered in Milwaukee. Kasich will argue favorably for Biden in November:
Former Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, is expected to speak on behalf of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at next month’s Democratic National Convention, the Associated Press reported Monday.
The party’s invitation comes as other high-profile anti-Trump Republicans are likely to become more active in support of Biden leading up to the election, according to the AP. The AP cited “a person with direct knowledge” of Kasich’s plans “who insisted on anonymity to discuss strategy.”
Kasich, the governor of Ohio from 2011 to 2019, a former longtime member of the U.S House of Representatives, and onetime Fox News pundit, ran unsuccessfully in the 2016 Republican primary won by Trump.
Through a spokesman, Kasich declined to comment on the report. The Biden campaign and DNC would neither confirm nor deny the report.
There’s also a rumor that Kasich will be endorsing Joe Biden for president soon which jives well with reports about a 2020 DNC speaking slot. Kasich held on in 2016 longer than most of the field as the “Not-Trump alternative” in the ace. Kasich was famous for considering himself as the “adult” in the remaining field that consisted of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. In fact, the Cruz campaign believed that Kasich cost Cruz the chance to compete with Trump head-to-head which helped Trump continue winning primaries with support in the thirty-percent range.
Kasich is also famously associated with the Lincoln Project, a group of disaffected Republicans working overtime to defeat Trump in 2020 by peeling away other moderates in the party:
Kasich is one of a number of high-profile Republicans who intend to work against Trump’s re-election in the closing days of the campaign, according to the AP. Kasich’s 2016 campaign manager, John Weaver, co-founded the Lincoln Project, a group that is already airing anti-Trump TV ads. In addition, ex-Ohio GOP Chair Matt Borges, a Kasich ally, has formed a pro-Biden super PAC.
Kasich’s potential appearance at the DNC, denouncing Trump and vocally supporting Biden, dovetails with our report from days ago about the divide within the Republican Party right now.
Kasich has been handily in the #NeverTrump campaign since the end of the 2016 campaign. There was talk of Kasich joining with a moderate Democrat, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, to form an independent third-party ticket to challenge Trump in 2020. That talk seems to have subsided, but clearly Kasich hasn’t let his fervor for defeating Trump come to an end.
The question is which groups Kasich will appeal to. Democrats are all-in for anyone but Trump. Perhaps the goal with Kasich is to punch deeper into the sea of well-educated, Republican-leaning suburban voters who might’ve voted for Kasich in the 2016 primary, but voted for Trump in the general election.
There’s a sliver of the electorate there up for grabs and peeling some of them away, if they aren’t trending toward Biden already, could be the sweet spot Democrats are hoping for by giving a Republican a chance to arguer Biden’s case in August.
Kasich’s speaking slot would basically serve as giving the Lincoln Project a primetime television spot with a Republican making the case against Trump’s re-election. Kasich isn’t a leftist, and probably would not be throwing in with a convention speech for Bernie Sanders. Biden, however, is palatable for #NeverTrumpers hoping to restore a traditional politician to the White House in 2020, regardless of party affiliation.