Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), last seen on the national stage getting trounced by Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, said Wednesday that the GOP will die a slow, agonizing death if it continues to present itself as the party of Trump.
In a CNN discussion about House Republicans and their decision about whether or not to take action against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kasich said, “I was the chairman of the committee that balanced the federal budget. I was the one that was able to do reform inside the federal government. I did so many things down there that were conservative. And now these guys are off on some — I don’t even know where they are — they’re on some crazy tangent here.”
“That’s the point,” said panelist Dana Bash. “They are the Republican Party now, governor. The House Republicans are very much representative of a very large chunk of the GOP. Until they, you know, unless they do something to say these views are not okay and, yes, they’re speaking out, but take action about it, then talking about conservative fiscal responsibility and all those things, you know, it gets drowned out. Don’t you think?”
“I agree with that, Dana. Here is the thing,” Kasich said. “The Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell, couldn’t put out a stronger statement. He’s saying that this lady should be disciplined, should lose her committees in the least, and should be isolated. So he’s a pretty big spokesperson.
“This gets back to what’s going on inside the party,” he continued. “Is it a Trump party, not a Trump party? If it stays a Trump party in the long term, it will not be successful. It will begin to die. Frankly, it’s dying already, because a lot of people have left the party. There is a chance for them to get back on their feet, but if they can’t even make a simple decision about this lady and they can’t decide to support Liz Cheney and her vote of consciousness, what does that tell you about those people? Disgraceful.”
Kasich’s political advice – that the party should move away from Trump – is in conflict with reality. Two-thirds of House Republicans voted against certifying the election results on January 6th. Nearly every House Republican voted against impeachment. Nearly every Senate Republican voted that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional on its face. Polls show that 57% of Republicans firmly believe that Trump – and only Trump – should be the 2024 presidential nominee. No matter how you slice it, this is still very much Trump’s party.
If Republicans really want to “begin to die,” they will turn on Trump and his supporters.