At a Republican National Committee dinner in downtown Washington Thursday night, President Donald Trump reportedly took a few shots at the man he defeated in the 2016 Republican primaries…and may face again in the 2020 version of that preliminary contest: Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
According to Politico, Trump mentioned Kasich several times during the course of his remarks, mocking him and describing him as one of his “most relentless critics.” Which is, of course, very true. Kasich has been merciless over the past year – one of the few elected Republicans who hasn’t grasped the fact that the country needs a warrior like Trump in the White House. The old days where you could stand by conservative principles while the Democrats happily ran roughshod over Washington? Yeah, the American people got sick and tired of watching that show during the Obama years. Kasich, like Jeb Bush, Ben Sasse, Jeff Flake, and John McCain, doesn’t understand that the world has moved on.
At one point in the meeting, Trump brought onstage Bob Paduchik, who the president selected to serve as Republican National Committee co-chair after overseeing Trump’s successful 2016 campaign in Ohio. One person who was in attendance recalled the president heaping praise on Paduchik for helping him win the critical swing state, where he’d faced opposition from the governor. The president recounted the Ohio campaign and how he ultimately won the state.
The Trump-Kasich feud has been simmering ever since the 2016 campaign. At one point, the Trump campaign blasted the Ohio governor for refusing to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where then-candidate Trump was given the party’s nomination.
After Trump won the election, he orchestrated a takeover of the state party, removing Kasich ally Matt Borges as state party chair and replacing him with a pro-Trump figure, Jane Timken. Then-President-elect Trump personally made calls into the state to lobby for Timken to get the post.
Kasich has yet to officially announce his 2020 plans, but all the people in his inner circle have indicated that he will make another (losing) bid for the Republican nomination. He seems to conflate the fact that he was the last man standing in 2016 with the idea that he almost got the nod. In truth, he was the only one dumb enough to stick around after everyone else had read the writing on the wall.
But hey, go for it, Johnny. If you really think, though, that conservative voters are hungering for your brand of moderate “let’s all get along” politics these days, we have to tell you – you’re sadly mistaken. We tried it your way and it brought this country closer to the socialist brink than we’ve ever been. Sorry, Governor, but we’re not going back.