John Kasich to CNN: Independent presidential run 'unlikely'

Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich sa...

Posted: Apr 4, 2018 6:59 PM
Updated: Apr 4, 2018 6:59 PM

Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich says he is "unlikely" to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020 as an independent, but also spent Tuesday in this first-in-the-nation primary state, insisting that he is wide open to any path to the White House that may make sense.

"Am I going to run as an Independent? No, I'm not even thinking about that," Kasich declared during a lunch time interview with CNN at the famed Red Arrow Diner here.

"It's unlikely, but when you have options on the table, all options are on the table, right?" Kasich asked rhetorically.

When pressed to keep traveling down this hypothetical road, Kasich tried to stop it.

"We're getting carried away here!" he exclaimed.

But carried away is Kasich's middle name.

He has nine months left in his term as Ohio governor, and this is his third trip to the Granite State since coming in second here in the 2016 GOP primary.

The reason for the questions about Kasich running as an independent are twofold: (1.) He sounds like an independent in today's polarized environment and (2.) Challenging an incumbent President in a Republican primary is not easy, especially one who still has support from 86% of Republicans nationwide, according to CNN's latest poll.

Kasich insisted that he's not surprised by the fact that Trump, who beat him in New Hampshire by 20 percentage points, is still popular among Republicans. He chalks that up to tribal politics, saying parties have become like sports -- you root for your team no matter what.

So, what makes this Republican think he has a shot at toppling a GOP president in this environment?

"When I came to New Hampshire I had less than 2% name ID. Now, unwittingly or whatever, I'm now more widely known," he said, underscoring his understanding of the volatile political climate. "Secondly, I can't tell you what's going to happen in the next five minutes."

Is coming to New Hampshire and staying in touch with supporters, friends and donors an insurance policy in case he does decide to run?

"Well, no, it's an options policy that I don't know what I'm going to do and in politics I'm still a young person, a young man and I don't know," the 65-year-old told CNN. "I know it's so hard for people to believe that, that I'm not plotting and scheming."

In the meantime, he says he is going to keep using his "voice" to call out the President and other Washington politicians.

"I fear that we could be entering a post-truth era," he said.

"That means we can't even agree on anything, so, how do you have a dialogue? How do you bring people together when we can't agree on what's real and what's not?"

He continued, "I want to do some things that keep my options open but where it's going to lead, i just don't know but I don't want my voice to be quieted, but you know what? The Lord may tell me, 'Hey John, shut up for a while.'"

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 660942

Reported Deaths: 12556
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion905601638
Lake48352874
Allen35762635
Hamilton32026396
St. Joseph29865511
Elkhart25350414
Vanderburgh21225377
Tippecanoe19977200
Johnson16319356
Porter15938269
Hendricks15801300
Clark11928180
Madison11730316
Vigo11578229
Monroe10312161
Delaware9830179
LaPorte9755196
Howard9047196
Kosciusko8549109
Bartholomew7440147
Warrick7403150
Hancock7394130
Floyd7189169
Wayne6630191
Grant6422157
Morgan6075125
Boone607288
Dubois5895111
Dearborn546866
Cass543399
Henry541793
Marshall5417104
Noble508578
Jackson464366
Shelby460190
Lawrence4179111
Gibson400881
Harrison398763
Clinton395053
Montgomery386283
DeKalb384678
Miami356763
Knox356485
Whitley348936
Huntington342376
Steuben337855
Wabash330876
Putnam329459
Ripley326861
Adams322549
Jasper315443
White297252
Jefferson294473
Daviess285396
Fayette271456
Decatur270488
Greene261280
Posey260531
Wells257674
Scott249950
Clay240844
LaGrange240770
Randolph225576
Spencer217030
Jennings214744
Washington210427
Sullivan203139
Fountain201142
Starke187951
Owen181953
Fulton178237
Jay177628
Carroll176418
Perry173235
Orange171150
Rush164322
Vermillion160242
Franklin159335
Tipton146141
Parke138815
Pike127432
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown94939
Benton91813
Crawford90313
Martin80014
Warren75513
Switzerland7537
Union67110
Ohio53211
Unassigned0431

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 966154

Reported Deaths: 17237
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1116881202
Cuyahoga953321735
Hamilton73102963
Montgomery47187886
Summit40041955
Butler35377468
Lucas35149761
Stark29267838
Warren22334274
Lorain21938389
Mahoning19373541
Lake18335305
Clermont18304210
Delaware16385135
Licking14923200
Fairfield14476157
Trumbull14270461
Greene13536213
Medina13327218
Clark12210335
Wood11481193
Portage10958159
Allen10761235
Richland10236205
Miami9999189
Muskingum8139129
Columbiana8094182
Pickaway8022101
Tuscarawas8012235
Marion7973137
Wayne7843219
Erie6852184
Ross6114136
Geauga6036128
Hancock5973112
Ashtabula5928144
Scioto5911104
Lawrence522474
Union509752
Darke5021124
Belmont490189
Huron4776117
Jefferson4770108
Sandusky475595
Seneca4648103
Athens461232
Washington459387
Mercer4581101
Auglaize454898
Shelby440769
Knox400586
Putnam3982101
Madison391447
Ashland378395
Fulton377564
Defiance3706102
Brown368842
Crawford356196
Logan352959
Preble352471
Clinton339364
Highland326855
Ottawa322367
Williams301477
Jackson288556
Guernsey285734
Champaign285146
Fayette267644
Perry267143
Morrow258925
Henry245465
Hardin243656
Holmes2430104
Coshocton233847
Van Wert228849
Gallia221346
Adams215432
Pike214428
Wyandot209053
Hocking193449
Carroll180228
Paulding159623
Meigs134637
Noble128442
Monroe116036
Morgan100534
Harrison100132
Vinton76615
Unassigned00
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