John Kasich DNC Speech Draws Fire on Left & Right

john kasich speech

Getty John Kasich.

John Kasich is slated to speak at the Democratic National Convention on its opening night. But the former Ohio governor is being criticized from all sides, from New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) to President Donald Trump and several in between.

Kasich is a former Republican, two-term governor and 2016 presidential candidate.

Kasich, along with three other Republicans (Susan Molinari, Christine Whitman and Meg Whitman), are giving speeches as part of a “We The People Putting Country Over Party,” USA Today reported.

Some have said the choice to have Kasich speak, along with three other Republicans, is emblematic of the broad coalition Biden has built and will improve his chances of chipping away at people who voted for Trump in 2016 but are less enthusiastic after his first term.

However, others are strongly against the idea.


Many Democrats Have Expressed Disappointment That Kasich Was Invited To Speak At The Convention

Democrats are fired up that Kasich has been allowed more time to speak at the convention than AOC, one of Congress’ most progressive and popular representatives to be elected during the 2018 midterms, according to what Business Insider.

Kasich appeared to fire the first shot at self-proclaimed democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC), describing the firebrand in a Buzzfeed article as “outsized.”

“You know, I listen to people all the time make these statements, and because AOC gets outsized publicity doesn’t mean she represents the Democratic Party. She’s just a part, just some member of it. And it’s on both sides, whether it’s the Republicans or whether it’s the Democrats,” he told Buzzfeed.

AOC shot back, writing a series of tweets in which she reminded people that although it’s good to build bridges, it was important to remember Kasich’s record in restricting abortion:

It’s great that Kasich has woken up & realized the importance of supporting a Biden-Harris ticket. I hope he gets through to GOP voters.

Yet also, something tells me a Republican who fights against women’s rights doesn’t get to say who is or isn’t representative of the Dem party.

We can build bridges & not lose sight of our values.

It’s important to remember that Kasich is an anti-choice extremist. He 100% will (and has) signed away our reproductive rights the moment he has the opportunity to do so. He is not a friend to workers.

Several on Twitter were also not happy about the development.

“AOC has barely 60 seconds to ask or push for anything. F***ing John Kasich has more speaking time! It’s an atrocious event,” one user posted while another wrote, “It’s infuriating that the DNC believes that to win this election they need to win over Republicans who don’t like Trump rather than convincing a massive base of young progressives to vote. There is absolutely no rationale for this strategy except for simply hating progressives..”


Some Republicans Are Calling Kasich A ‘Traitor’

Matt Vespa wrote an editorial in Town Hall in which he criticized Kasich for trying “to break tribalism or something”: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2020/08/17/how-traitor-john-kasich-managed-to-infuriate-everyone-with-his-dnc-antics-n2574531?1721

Dude, what are you smoking? Seriously, I mean what the hell is this? You were already on the outs with the party, Mr. Kasich. And now, you’re not only endorsing Joe Biden for president—you’re speaking at their convention. I don’t know what is going through Kasich’s mind—I don’t. Does he think that somehow, after a Biden win, the GOP will go back to the days of old? Those days are gone. They’re over. Finished.

So, to break down tribalism, we should…vote for a person who I oppose on almost every issue whose base is fueled by a left-wing authoritarian ethos? That sounds idiotic. That sounds downright stupid. That sounds like the type of logic which explains why these Kasich Republicans have been wiped out and need to leech onto…Democrats in a desperate, pathetic attempt to remain relevant. Kasich is a clown. He’s a traitor to the party. And after tonight, he should be thrown in the trash. Also, not even Democrats want him there.

Several on Twitter agreed, calling him “Traitor,” “RINO” or Republican In Name Only, and “spineless.”

One person wrote, “Literally NO ONE gives a f*** what @JohnKasich has to say. #DemConvention #Trump2020.”

Even President Donald Trump bashed the former Ohio governor, calling him a “major loser,” according to The Hill.

He was a loser as a Republican, and he’ll be a loser as a Democrat. Major loser as a Republican. I guess you can quote me on that. John was a loser as a Republican. Never even came close. And as a Democrat he’ll be an even greater loser. People don’t like him. People don’t trust him. His health care in Ohio was a disaster. He hasn’t done too well with Trump. He’s been easy pickings.

Kasich is one of many a number of conservatives and former Republicans who have said they believe Trump should no longer be president. One of the more popular ones belong to The Lincoln Project, a political organization composed of four conservatives and former Republicans – George Conway, Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson and John Weaver – who raise money and regularly produce ads disparaging Trump’s record and conduct.

READ NEXT: The Lincoln Project: Its Founders, Its Ads and Its Impact