John Kasich was on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday, and guest host Dana Bash confronted him with a quote from my piece Friday about Kasich being the only human being on planet earth who thought CNBC did a good job moderating the debate. Kasich’s angry, sputtering response is truly something to behold:
Kasich’s response is humorous in a number of different ways. First, it’s always amusing when someone says “I don’t care about bloggers” and then spends the next 3 and a half minutes responding to something a blogger has said. Especially since Dana Bash was repeatedly trying to get him to change the subject and he repeatedly just blew right through her and continued his angry old man tirade. Second, I love that “I don’t care about bloggers” are the literal words that preceded a lengthy rant about how John Kasich is the only candidate who cares about people.
But more substantively, Kasich continues to illustrate the basic point I was making – Kasich does not understand the Republican electorate, and to the extent that he does understand them, he dislikes them. Kasich can’t understand why he isn’t being praised for expanding medicaid under Obamacare and bloating Ohio’s budget in the process. Kasich really can’t understand why conservatives don’t like the fact that he insults everyone who opposes his plan by calling them a bad Christian.
It’s clear that Kasich is more at home dealing with the admitted liberals at CNBC than he is dealing with RedState. At no point did the CNBC moderators ask him a question that caused him to splutter with his characteristic rage for three and a half minutes – in fact, he thinks they were great even though everyone else thinks they were terrible.
Look, this is not gotcha politics. This latest fracas is just an example of an increasingly obvious phenomenon – Kasich is just more at home among liberals than he is among conservatives. That’s why he thinks CNBC is great and RedState is terrible.
It’s one thing for a frontrunner to brush off criticism as being “silly.” It’s another thing for a guy whose poll numbers are so in the tank that he’s about to be demoted to the Lindsay Graham debate circuit to call his critics silly. When you’re polling at 2.2% and you say it’s “silly” for people to criticize you for not being conservative enough, you’re essentially calling 98% of the GOP electorate “silly.”
Which, of course, is exactly what John Kasich thinks. He thinks that unless you are part of the 2% of the GOP primary electorate who finds CNBC to be fairer to conservatives than RedState, you are a silly person and he’s kind of embarrassed to be associated with you.