Former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich traveled to King County Tuesday as part of a nationwide book tour.
The Ohio governor held events in Bellevue and Amazon in Seattle, promoting his book about the 2016 election cycle.
Could Kasich be laying the foundation for another run?
“I don’t have any clue,” he said during a one-on-one interview. “It’s unlikely, because I don’t know how that would work. I don’t know if I’ll ever run for public office again. But, you just don’t know. You don’t know what life’s going to bring you.”
The governor, who has 18 months left of his current term, said he plans on keeping his political operation alive.
When asked if he has ruled out challenging President Donald Trump in a primary, Kasich quickly responded, “He’s been in 100 days. I mean I’m rooting for the guy. I don’t want him to do terribly.”
“There’s not always an ulterior motive to something. I wrote this book, because I’m worried (about) our drift of our country,” Kasich continued.
His book, Two Paths America Divided or United, argues that fear turned out to be a driving emotion of the 2016 presidential campaign.
A few months into the new administration, Kasich said he was left hopeful by some signs of progress, until hearing the president’s campaign style speech in Pennsylvania on Saturday to mark his 100 days.
“I was extremely disappointed by it,” said Kasich. “Look, he’s 100 days in, he wants to win. The best way to win is to lower the rhetoric and bring people together, and start solving some of these problems, because even the Trump supporters when polled say they would like to see more cooperation and more things that can get done.”
However, the longtime politician worries gridlock in D.C. is worse than ever before. The former nine-term congressman remains especially critical of the GOP healthcare repeal and replacement plan that’s back in the news this week.
He called the revised version of the bill with the new MacArthur amendment “window dressing.”
“There’s not the resources in there to be able to provide healthcare to people through Medicaid, because it’s limited in terms of how long it will last, and then they phase it off over a cliff, which I don’t like,” he said. “We can reduce the cost of the federal government, but it’s going to take time. And then over on the other side, there’s not enough resources to provide a decent amount of health insurance for people, so they’re going to be back in the emergency room.”
Kasich traveled to the White House in February to offer advice to the president but admits “a lot of the suggestions I made haven’t come to fruition.”
However, the persistent politician does have some advice for an increasingly polarized American public.
“I think we’ve given up bowling and taken up absorbing things that we agree with,” Kasich said. “One of my friends said we ought to spend 10 minutes a day reading something that you don’t agree with. I think that’s a good recommendation. If people would just go back to bowling and lay off politics for awhile, I think we’d have a happier country.”
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