Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is still publicly undecided on a 2020 run for the White House, dismissed political rhetoric pushing the “zero-sum game that I’m going to vanquish my opponent.”
Kasich was asked in a joint interview with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, in which the two were promoting bipartisan cooperation, about former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s comment this week that civility won’t work until Dems win.
“I would love to see us return to civility,” Clinton told CNN International, adding, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”
Hickenlooper, who is also term-limited this year, said Clinton “reflects a growing sense of frustration and anger with Democrats and really not just Democrats, large numbers of independent votes, a large number of Republicans where they feel that the present administration has attack rule by law, attack the courts, has attacked and tried to diminish the free media cast out on any story that doesn’t agree with what they want to be said on TV or in the media.”
“Now, I don’t agree that that’s the only way. And I think that you always need to look at other approaches that can challenge — if you’ve got a bully in the schoolyard, you don’t just go up and punch him back. Although, I will say sometimes that as someone who was bullied when I was a little kid, sometimes that’s the only thing that work,” he added, then stating that “in terms of this administration, we can’t just resort to anger and attacks and incivility.”
Kasich said, “I’m shocked that Hillary said this.”
“I’ve known her for a long time and I don’t know — maybe she got up on the wrong side of the bed, to say that what we need to do is just get out and fight, and I know there was a Republican preacher who said, ‘We need to elect more street fighters and we need to win,'” he said.
Kasich was likely referring to this tweet two weeks ago from Jerry Falwell Jr.: “Conservatives & Christians need to stop electing ‘nice guys’. They might make great Christian leaders but the US needs street fighters like @realDonaldTrump at every level of government b/c the liberal fascists Dems are playing for keeps & many Repub leaders are a bunch of wimps!”
Kasich declared “that does not work” and said that “we have to restrain ourselves and be patient because there’s a long game we’re playing.”
“And to say, ‘Well, we’re just being mean until we take over, then everything will be nice.’ I think you’ve studies civil wars in the world and that approach is, ‘Well, we’re just going to be nasty until we win’; that’s not a solution. So, I bet Hillary would like to take that back,” the Ohio governor added.
Kasich noted that people need to consider “our own personal long-term futures about how we want to be judged once we depart this earth.”