John Kasich surprised supporters on Sunday when he announced on CNN he doesn’t believe he’ll run for political office again. Kasich’s term as governor of Ohio will end in January 2019, and some have speculated Kasich could challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican primary at that time.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, host Dana Bash asked Kasich whether he’d be interested in challenging Trump for the GOP primary in 2019.
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“Governor, before I let you go, I have to point out that you’ve been keeping a very busy schedule, and you’ve been keeping up your political profile,” Bash said.
“There’s a new pro-Kasich political organization, you’ve been traveling the globe, you’ve got a new book coming out and the title is your campaign theme: ‘Two Paths: America Divided or United.’ I know you’re not going to tell me right now whether you plan to challenge President Trump in 2020,” Bash said before getting cut off by Kasich.
“No, no, no,” responded Kasich, who then went on to explain that he has no ambition of challenging Trump in 2020.
“My job, believe me, my job is to be a voice that’s constructive,” said Kasich. “I’m not really interested in running for political office again. I’m interested in being a voice that can help bring the country together again. And I don’t want to be self-righteous or any of this stuff. I’m doing the best I can.”
“So, you’re not running for political office again?” asked Bash. “You’re not going to run for president?”
“I don’t see it,” Kasich responded. “I just don’t see it.”
“Ever?” asked Bash.
“I don’t see it, Dana,” said Kasich. “Look, I have other things I have to do. You don’t close the door on anything, but I don’t have my eyes on that.”
Kasich has been one of Trump’s biggest critics going all the way back to when the two men were both committing for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Some anti-Trump moderates in the GOP have been hoping Kasich would lead the charge against Trump in 2019, but after today’s interview with Bash, it seems increasingly unlikely that will happen.