You have to wonder what John Kasich is thinking these days as he continues his futile quest for the Republican nomination.
With almost the entire GOP united in opposition to Obama’s SCOTUS pick, Merrit Garland, Kasich scolded Senate Republicans for refusing to meet with the nominee, and claimed that he would consider nominating Garland himself if he was elected president.
“My feeling is, at the end of the day, whoever gets elected president should be in a position to be able to pick you know who they want and the American people will either decide by voting for a Republican or Democrat what the makeup of the court is,” Kasich said in the interview, which was taped Saturday.
The Ohio governor even suggested he’d consider naming Garland himself if he wins the presidency, noting the praise the nominee has received from conservatives in the past.
“As someone who’s talked about unity, would you take a look at Mr. Garland…if you were elected president?” host John Dickerson asked Kasich.
“Well, you know, he received you know overwhelming support, I think even from Senator Hatch, so of course we’d think about it,” Kasich replied. “The way we do it, John, is we look at a person’s record. I want a conservative who’s not going to make the law but who will interpret the law and somebody of high standing. I don’t care about their peccadilloes you know 30 years ago. But we have a process. I’ve appointed over 100 judges in Ohio, including a woman that, fortunately, I was able to appoint to the Ohio Supreme Court. And we’ve had good success with our selections.”
Later on Saturday, Kasich walked back his comments about Garland, saying he was only making “an effort to be polite” and stating that Garland is “not gonna be my pick for the Supreme Court.”
Well, gee John, that’s good to know. And your effort to be “polite” only exposed you as being out of step with the vast majority of the party you want to lead.
It hardly matters that Garland received praise from some Republicans when he was up for a seat on the federal bench. It’s not surprising because he has virtually no record to judge him by.
But does anyone doubt Garland would be a reliable left-wing vote on the high court? On a host of vital issues that will come before the court over the next few terms, Garland would cast his vote with the liberal wing. This is a given, which is why opposition to his confirmation is so universal on the Republican side.
Kasich is not going to get the nomination. And if he thinks taking liberal positions on the issues will endear him to Donald Trump, who might then choose him for vice president, he has no concept of the tenor and mood of the country.