Donald Trump finally got to John Kasich. Now the Ohio governor is down a path that has tripped up other Republican presidential hopefuls.
Kasich abruptly shifted his tone Tuesday by sharply rebuking three of his higher polling rivals for the nomination: Trump, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush.
This is a risky escalation of Kasich’s adult-in-the-room strategy. Where before acting like the grownup meant staying out of Trump’s muddy mosh pit, Kasich now is the angry father telling his children all the many ways they have disappointed him.
“Do you know how crazy this election is?” Kasich said here during a hometown rally with more than 100 supporters who gathered to see him off for the CNBC debate Wednesday evening in Colorado. “I’ve about had it with these people.”
Kasich, without using names, took direct aim at Trump, a real estate mogul, for favoring mass deportations of undocumented immigrants. He blasted Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, for proposals to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid. And Kasich mocked Bush’s gleeful boasts that, as governor of Florida, he earned the “Godfather”-inspired nickname Veto Corleone because he rejected so many spending requests.
“He’s so proud of the fact that he vetoes everything,” Kasich said of Bush. “You know what vetoes are? Vetoes are a sign that you can’t get what you want.”
At one time, John Kasich was about as conservative a member of the House as you could find. But he is simply out of touch with the modern GOP electorate. Supposedly, Kasich’s campaign rests on three items. These are not a “three-legged stool” they are more like a “three-wish birthday cake”. He’s counting on Trump to flame out. He’s counting on Carson to flame out. He’s counting on the GOP establishment abandoning Bush and fleeing to Team Kasich. If portrayed graphically, Kasich’s strategy would look like this:
The CNBC debate will probably be the last time we hear from Kasich. He is mired in low single digits. He is angry at and disappointed in the very people who will have to vote for him in a GOP primary. He is out of touch with the mood of the nation and even the problems facing everyday Americans. It is time for Kasich to shut up and go home.