Kasich has yet to endorse Trump for president.
Kasich sat down with CNN’s Jake Tapper for a conversation that turned into quite a revelation. The former GOP candidate ended up contradicting one of the Trump’s campaigns most hotly issued denials from back during the convention week, re-opening a particularly embarrassing allegation.
Namely, Kasich told Tapper that Donald Trump Jr. called one of his aides and proposed a shocking arrangement. The suggestion was to make Kasich perhaps the most powerful vice president ever, tasked with running both domestic and international policy, while Donald Trump himself would focus on “making America great again.” While Kasich denied getting such a call himself, he told Tapper that one of his aides confirmed the story to him.
Kasich insisted that he never seriously considered any vice presidential offer, however. While he said he might’ve considered being George Washington’s vice president, he considers the Ohio governorship to be the second-best job in America. Tapper pressed him, asking if “it wasn’t tempting at all.” But Kasich was undeterred, replying “isn’t that amazing? Never considered it.”
Tapper also asked Kasich about who he plans to vote for, in light of his refusal to endorse Trump. By his own claim, Kasich has never once voted for Democrat in the general election, and he in no way is a Clinton supporter. He told Tapper that he hadn’t quite decided what he’d do when he set foot in that voting booth on November 8th:
“We still have time, it’s something I think about. A little, not a lot… let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This is very disturbing and alarming to me―I shouldn’t say alarming, it’s not alarming―I wish that I could be fully enthusiastic, I can’t be. So I don’t know what’s going to happen in the end.”
Kasich also specifically touched on the Khan family—Ghazala Khan and Khizr Khan, the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004―and shared his own experience of consoling the families of America’s war dead:
“As the governor, every year except this year, because we fortunately haven’t lost anybody, we’ve had families of people who’ve been lost serving their country. Jake, they come to the statehouse, they gather in the cabinet room, and then one by one, these families come in to see me. It’s very tough… I tell them about the loss of my mother and father in a sudden accident, and I said you know, let’s not compare, but what I can tell you is I’ve seen the black hole. I’ve had the deep mourning and the pain, but here’s what I know. I believe the scripture when it says that those who give up their life, or serve someone else, will wear a big crown. That their service is marked in the book of life, never to be erased.”
Kasich also wasn’t very bullish about Trump’s chances in Ohio, saying that while he might win in some parts of the state, he’ll have trouble carrying it with such a divisive message.
Kasich took perhaps one of the most uncompromising postures towards Trump of any high-profile elected Republican. Specifically, he refused to even attend the GOP nominee’s convention week, despite the RNC being held in Cleveland, Ohio―Kasich’s own state, in other words. Suffice to say, he’s clearly judged that whatever pressures the Republican commitment might place on him, he’ll be better off in the long run keeping Trump at arm’s length.
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