John Kasich At CPAC Anticipates Brokered GOP Convention

Republican presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich of Ohio speaks during CPAC 2016 March 4, 2016 in National Harbor, Maryland.
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Washington, DC

When given the chance to jump fully onboard with Mitt Romney’s Stop Trump efforts focused on a brokered convention, Gov. John Kasich didn’t go all in; however he did say he anticipates a brokered convention.

While talking politics with Sean Hannity at CPAC today, Kasich warned of backroom deals and “connected interests” calling the shots in Washington.

After last night’s GOP debate, turned to the Conservative Political Action Committee event to take his case straight to conservatives.

Kasich also enlisted the help of his former Fox colleague and popular radio and television host Hannity. Kasich began with what was little different from his usual stump speech, before introducing Hannity for something of an impromptu townhall like event, although they didn’t open it up for questions from the audience.

“Why don’t we get to it?” Kasich opened, reaching back to mention his earliest days in politics working on the first campaign of Ronald Reagan – clearly designed to appeal to the highly Reagan-friendly crowd always found at CPAC. He also claimed the mantle of “change agent,” in comparing himself to the former President. Consequently, he said, as with Reagan, the Washington Republican establishment doesn’t care much for him, either.

Kasich said his conservative philosophy is “government as a last resort,” while encouraging individuals and communities to help themselves first. He also talked at length about his time in Washington on the budget committee – stressing the need to come up with Republican solutions, not merely existing to bash those put forward by Democrats.

As for foreign policy, remarked the Ohio Gov, Putin will see a “freedom fighter” in me.

When Hannity joined Kasich on stage, he asked the Governor to comment on Romney’s “stop Trump at the GOP Convention” strategy; however, Kasich seemed to want to stay away from any controversy. That would jibe with the adult attitude many felt he tried to project at last night’s debate. Instead, he talked of his desire to run a positive campaign.

He also praised House Speaker Paul Ryan as a leader, citing his time working with him years ago when Ryan was only an aide.

He did say, however, he thinks it will be a brokered convention, saying it could function as a “learning experience” for Americans regarding our political process, while also expressing some fear of “connected interests dominating” behind the scenes to produce a result contrary to what the people might want.

He also took a shot or two at Hillary Clinton on foreign policy, perhaps looking forward to a potential general election match up one day.