Ohio Gov. John Kasich believes Republicans should have been able to secure a resounding victory in last week’s special election in his home state, arguing the results are a warning from voters to Republicans.
Republican Troy Balderson ended Tuesday night with a narrow lead against Democrat Danny O’Connor in the election for Ohio’s 12th congressional district, and the election has not officially been called.
“It wasn’t a good night because this is a district that you should be winning by, you know, overwhelming numbers,” the Republican governor and former 2016 presidential candidate told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“The last guy won by, I don’t know, 17 points,” added Kasich, who represented the district during his time in Congress. “So, what you had is, I think, a message from the voters to the Republicans that you’ve got to stop the chaos and you’ve got to get more tune and stop alienating people and try to figure out, how do families do better.”
Kasich, who left open the possibility that he could run for president again in 2020, said the focus has been on tariffs, separating children from their parents at the border or “a fight here where maybe people could lose their health care if they have a preexisting condition.”
“People just want the government to do its job, to improve the situation for them,” he said. “Not to be, not to be on the front page and creating a chaotic environment all the time. They don’t want that.”
Kasich said it’s not about “making the case against” President Donald Trump, but returning the party to its roots.
“The Republican Party has never been for protectionism,” he said. “The Republican Party doesn’t support a notion that, that families shouldn’t be held together. The Republican Party never supported the notion that we should ring up debt.”
“The Republican Party has never believed that we should walk away from our allies who have helped us keep the peace since World War II,” he added. “These positions are — they don’t even resemble the Republican Party.”
Asked whether he was planning to run for president again in 2020, Kasich said: “Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. I don’t know. But here’s what I do know. My job as a human being, ultimately, is to serve the Lord. And if I’m helping people to realize their God-given purpose and destiny, then I’m striking tin, and that’s good.”