John Kasich, a possible 2020 candidate, plans to give a speech less than 48 hours after polls close in this election, casting his vision for the future of the Republican Party after his vocal opposition to current GOP nominee Donald Trump.
The Ohio governor, who refused to back Trump after losing to him in the GOP presidential primary, plans to give the speech Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute, a free-enterprise think tank in Washington, D.C., two people with knowledge of the plans told The Enquirer. They declined to be named because the plan is not yet public.
Kasich is mulling a possible 2020 bid for president, although he does not plan to launch that bid Thursday, the people said. He hopes to be a part of the conversation as the GOP takes stock after a possible loss to Democrat Hillary Clinton. One of his allies, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, may launch a bid for national chairman of the GOP.
Kasich has routinely spoken out against Trump's behavior and policies this fall and is likely to give the speech even if Trump wins, one of the people said.
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Despite having signed a pledge to support the GOP nominee, whoever it was, Kasich voted in the November election for John McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee. The vote did not count, under Ohio law.
The governor's political spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Kasich routinely touts his strength in swing-state Ohio as one of his selling points. But if Kasich runs again in 2020, he will face challenges: His fellow Republicans, especially in the South, often disagree with some of his moderate stances. Many Republicans are frustrated that he continued to oppose Trump; they view Kasich as having broken his pledge.
He'll have the advantage of higher name recognition and a bigger head-start than he had in 2016. He launched his bid for president in July 2015, two weeks before the first GOP debate.
In 2016, Kasich finished a distant second in New Hampshire and won only his home state of Ohio. Still, he was the last candidate to drop out after it became clear Trump would win the nomination.
John Kasich 2016 Presidential Campaign
Kasich was originally loath to criticize Trump. But as the GOP race drew to a close, he painted it as a choice between "two paths": Trump's – a "path to darkness" – and that of traditional Republican and American ideals.
"Will we turn our backs on the ideals of America that have seen us through more than two centuries? Or are we going to reaffirm that America is, in Ronald Reagan's words, 'The last best hope of man on earth?' " he said in a speech in April in New York. He tweeted that speech Wednesday night.
John Kasich ✔ @JohnKasich
On this election eve, remember it's 'We the People' that make America a shining light of hope and freedom.
5:07 PM - 7 Nov 2016
1,031 1,031 Retweets 2,185 2,185 likes
Kasich finishes his second and final term as governor in 2018. He has maintained his political team and his national travels to keep his options open for another shot at the presidency. He also has been careful not to say anything in support of Clinton, the Democratic Party's likely nominee in 2020 if she wins Tuesday night.
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