- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Sunday refused to say whether he plans to run for president in 2020, but did say he is frustrated with the direction of the Republican Party and will try to push it in an optimistic and inclusive direction.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow. You know, I will tell you this: The other day, with all the chaos going on, my wife said to me one morning, she said, ‘You know, John, I wish you were president.’ That’s how I knew the country was in trouble,” Mr. Kasich, a Republican, told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Mr. Kasich wasn’t able to defeat President Trump during the 2016 GOP primary. Since then, he’s been a frequent critic of the administration’s withdrawal from international deals and its combative tone on issues like immigration — policies advanced by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who declared war on the GOP establishment over the weekend.

“The Republican party cannot be anti-trade. The Republican party can’t be anti-immigrant. The Republican party just can’t walk away from increasing debt,” Mr. Kasich said. “The Republican party can’t go out and start grabbing people out of their homes who have been really good people living in this country and shipping them out of this country willy-nilly. Or taking away healthcare for millions of people. This is not what the party is.”

Mr. Kasich’s visibility prompted talk of an independent run with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, against Mr. Trump in 2020, though he threw cold water on the idea in August.

Even so, he plans to retain his role in pushing the GOP in a sunnier direction.

“I’m optimistic that I can move the party, you know, in a direction that will be positive and we’re doing it here,” he said of Ohio. “And in fact, just because there’s some activists that scream and yell, whatever, that’s not where the bulk of the people are.”

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