News and Commentary

Joe Biden Courting Trump-Hating Republicans, Gets John Kasich To Speak At Democratic National Convention
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Chase Center July 14, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who calls himself a Republican, is expected to speak at the Democratic National Convention next month and give presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden his endorsement.

The Associated Press reported that Biden’s campaign has been reaching out to Republicans who despise President Donald Trump, such as Kasich.

“Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican and frequent Trump critic, has been approached and is expected to speak at the Democratic National Convention on Biden’s behalf next month, according to a person with direct knowledge of the plans who insisted on anonymity to discuss strategy. Kasich is among a handful of high-profile Republicans likely to become more active in supporting Biden in the fall,” the outlet reported.

Kasich, as governor of Ohio, willfully and unilaterally implemented Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in his state, an optional program. He received criticism from conservatives in the state for supporting the healthcare law that created numerous problems in the healthcare industry and was opposed by every Republican in the Senate when it was passed during President Barack Obama’s first term.

Kasich still claims to be a Republican, and ran for president in 2016. He finished second behind Trump, but only because he didn’t drop out when he failed to get delegates like most candidates. By staying in, he ended up being a non-Trump option.

As the AP noted, Biden’s support – especially in Florida – “comes more from voters’ displeasure with Trump than excitement over Biden, whose regular gaffes, long Washington record and recent attempts to appease progressives leave him in a tougher spot than some Democrats would like to believe.”

The polls could also tighten by election day, narrowing the current gap between Trump and Biden.

More from the AP:

That happened in 2016 when Trump narrowly won the election after trailing Hillary Clinton in the polls for months. The Democrats’ reluctance to enjoy the current moment reflects the sting of that loss, Biden’s nagging vulnerabilities and Trump’s mountain of campaign cash.

Trump’s campaign has reserved $146 million in television advertising this fall led by a $36.3 million investment in Florida alone, according to data compiled by Advertising Analytics. That’s more than double the next closest state, Ohio, where Trump has reserved $18.4 million. Biden, so far, hasn’t reserved any fall advertising, although he’s amassed a fortune in recent months that will allow him to compete, even if he can’t match Trump dollar for dollar.

Trump recently demoted his previous campaign manager and replaced him with GOP operative Bill Stepien. The media is taking this as a sign that Trump’s campaign is in trouble, yet Trump shook up his campaign in 2016 and ended up winning the election.

Trump’s staff still hopes to show Biden’s long record in Washington as detrimental to his campaign.

“A lot of people know Joe Biden. They don’t know about Joe Biden’s record. Right now, he is this blank canvas,” said Trump campaign director of delegates and party organization Nick Trainer. “As they get more and more information about what Joe Biden’s done and what he’ll do, I’m more and more confident.”

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