The Republican presidential candidate once most feared by Democrats has just about thrown in the towel. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has told his party’s fanatical religious base to go shove it. Well, he did not do so in so many words.
Speaking at a Q&A session hosted by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce earlier this week, the candidate who likes to call himself a “compassionate conservative” (now where have I heard that before?), talked about his willingness to do what he feels is right even if that puts him at odds with members of his own party.
Kasich, realizing that his chances for the nomination are slimmer than Chris Christie running a marathon up the Great Wall of China, called out his party’s base for being hypocrites. In defending his decision to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, he suggested his detractors do one simple thing: read the Bible.
It seems with a remark like that, the man just doesn’t care any more about his poll numbers, which have been on a steady decline. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, out this week, shows Kasich has fallen from second place in New Hampshire (after the first presidential debate) to a tie for seventh.
You have to give the old-fashioned conservative credit. He is not afraid to antagonize his party’s conservative activists as he lectures them on the moral obligation to help the poor. In fact, be boasts about his heresies, “We also believe in early childhood education. . . . We’ve invested a ton of money in K-through-12 education. . . . I’m somebody that’s not at war with organized labor.”
Much like Jon Huntsman in his 2012 run for the Republican presidential nomination, Kasich is seen as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) by today’s rabid Republican base… just another well-spoken, experienced moderate conservative favored by the Republican intelligentsia but going nowhere fast.
When asked about his struggling campaign, Kasich said, with more than a hint of sarcasm, “some people just don’t get me.”
No, John, many people do get you. It is just your party that doesn’t. Perhaps after the inevitable comes, it may be time to switch teams. Just saying.
Photo | johnkasich.com