The Fox Business Network deserves all the praise it has been getting for last night’s GOP debate. The questions were substantive, the discussions between candidates lively (outside of Ben Carson) and it was great to see candidates get into it over actual issues rather than being set up to do nothing but snipe at each other personally. All of the candidates had their moments but when it comes to dominating a singular debate issue, John Kasich was the one who stood above all others and had no competition.
In the category of, “How To Be The Most Unlikable Douchebag On The Stage” factor of the debate scoring, John Kasich stood alone.
I have watched numerous debates over the years with a spectrum of candidates that have gone from the great to the absurd (those of you old enough to remember Admiral Stockdale know exactly what I am talking about). However, I have never seen a candidate come across like such a jerk as John Kasich did last night. This was worse than the Al Gore “sighing” debate.
He constantly tried to interrupt. When he did speak, he acted like he was lecturing not only the audience, but the other candidates and the moderators as well. During an exchange with [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] about bank bailouts, Kasich was talking about his Executive Big Boy pants when this happened:
He gets booed for what he says and then instead of moving on, he exclaims, “Here’s what I mean by that…” The tone was easy to pick up. He was really saying, “Let me explain why you don’t understand what I meant you dumb asses.”
The most hilarious aspect of his candidacy is this idea that he’s this bedrock conservative and everybody is just too dumb to see it.
He supports raising the minimum wage
He supports bank bailouts.
He supports Common Core.
He supports raising taxes on fracking.
He supports and defends his Medicaid/Obamacare expansion.
Th best part? If you do not support any of those same things, then you’re a horrible person and Governor Kasich will purchase you a bible so you can cleanse yourself of your sins.
Kasich did so badly that in Frank Luntz’s focus group, he scored the lowest on the focus group dial than anybody since Luntz started doing them in 1996:
Frank Luntz said Kasich scored the lowest number ever in his history of doing dial focus groups. The focus group was annoyed by Kasich’s constant interruptions. One said Kasich went from number 2 on his list to off of it completely. Another called Kasich the “biggest liberal on that stage” and that he belonged at a Democratic party debate.
Kasich is so lacking in self-awareness, he probably reads the RCP polling average every day muttering aloud, “Why I am not leading? What is wrong with the idiots they’re polling? Don’t they know I’m an executive?!” He’s so unlikable, he makes characters in ‘House of Cards’ look sympathetic.
Attitude and likability matter in this era of politics. People can excuse a politician for being a douche at the state and local level, but being a jerk will only get one so far on the national stage. Here’s hoping this debate performance begins Kasich’s descent into the asterisk territory of the polls.