Donald Trump's Rant About John Kasich Is The Best Thing To Happen To The Ohio Governor
Donald Trump just gave John Kasich better PR than Kasich himself ever could pull off this presidential election. At a campaign stop in Wisconsin on Sunday, Trump demanded Kasich drop out of the race because he's "taking my votes." Since he aims his guns at Ted Cruz most of the time, Trump stood out for firing at Kasich — and that was actually incredibly helpful for the oft-forgotten Ohio governor. As the eternal GOP runner-up (or runner-up to the runner-up), Kasich has sorely needed any kind of attention on his campaign. Now, the Donald's attempt at putting Kasich down may have backfired.
Talking about himself in the third-person (as one does), Trump said, "Honestly, Kasich should not be allowed to run. He hurts Trump much more than he hurts Cruz." He continued to say Kasich was an obstacle that would make him unable to net enough delegates to win outright at the Republican National Convention in Ohio. "He doesn't have to run and take my votes. Because he's taking my votes. He's not taking Cruz's votes. He's taking my votes."
Trump's toddler temper tantrum about Kasich suggests that the Republican presidential frontrunner is actually stressed and anxious by the Ohio governor's presence in the race. Could Kasich be a bigger threat than his measly delegate count indicates, at least in Trump's eyes?
Almost consistently trailing Trump and Cruz (and, often, by a lot), Kasich's campaign has, frankly, never been taken all that seriously. According to Real Clear Politics, Kasich's polling average is 18.6 percent nationally, while Donald Trump is at 40 percent, and Ted Cruz is at 27.4 percent. Even in Arizona, after Marco Rubio dropped out, more people voted for the ghost of Rubio over Kasich. Many voters' picture the remaining trio of Republican candidates as Trump, Cruz, and... that one guy? What's his name?
Kasich has been scurrying around the heels of Trump and Cruz, largely unacknowledged by them, the public, and the Republican party. At the time of writing, POLITICO reports the GOP delegate count as 736 for Trump, 463 for Cruz, and a meager 143 for Kasich.
Kasich hasn't been able to effectively garner national attention, especially since his backwards strategy of seizing the spotlight consists of complaining he's never in the spotlight. In Kasich's interview with Fox News in March, he said, "Up until now, no one knew who I was. They thought my name was 'Governor of Ohio.' Finally I'm getting some attention! People can hear my message!" And back in December, Kasich told The Wall Street Journal, "You know what my rival is? Obscurity. Nobody knows me."
But Trump's comment lifts Kasich out of obscurity for a bit. It paints Kasich as a legitimate and strong opponent against the Donald, which Kasich himself has failed to do. Trump, by calling for Kasich to leave the race and stop taking his votes, directs more attention to Kasich while meaning to do the opposite. #NeverTrump folks can see that Trump views Kasich as a (somewhat) real danger to him. In a way, it's the greatest celebrity endorsement Kasich has gotten so far.