Ohio Governor John Kasich is the 16th candidate to enter the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Although he is by old-fashioned standards a conservative, he is the only GOP contender so far who doesn’t make me scratch my head, chortle or fill me with instant revulsion.
Which means, of course, he hasn’t got a chance of getting the nomination.
Kasich went against Republican dogma by supporting expansion of Medicaid health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) for low-income working people in his state.
As Jonathan Chait wrote:
What made his deviation not just noxious but utterly intolerable to the party base is the rationale he provided. Kasich did not just argue that the state’s budget needed the money. He insisted that denying health insurance to poor people is … wrong:
“Ya know, because people are poor doesn’t mean they don’t work hard. Because people are poor doesn’t mean that — it sometimes means they couldn’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps at some point in time. The most important thing for this legislature to think about: put yourself in somebody else’s shoes.”
“Put yourself in the shoes of a mother and a father with an adult child that’s struggling. Walk in somebody else’s moccasins. Understand that, ya know, poverty is real, and that when people are poor… I’ll tell ya somethin’, I had a; I had a comment; I had a conversation with a, one of the leaders… wasn’t one of the leaders, but one of the members of the legislature the other day.”
“I said, ‘I respect the fact that you believe in small government. I do too. I also happen to know that you’re a person of faith. Now, when you die and get to the, get to the, uh, to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not gonna ask you much about what you did about keeping government small, but he’s going to ask you what you did for the poor. Better have a good answer.'”
Unlike George W. Bush, who only claimed to be a “compassionate conservative,” Kasich– at least in this instance– is the real thing.
As I said: he doesn’t stand a chance.