- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 29, 2018

Ohio Gov. John Kasich hinted again Sunday at a possible 2020 presidential run by ripping the Republican Party and declaring “I can bring that party back.”

The Republican governor accused the GOP of being “anti-immigrant, anti-trade, in favor of debt,” and implored party members to “come home.”

“We should care about people from top to bottom, not just at those at the top but everybody,” Mr. Kasich told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I can bring that party back, that’s what I’m going to do, in one way or another.”

He also pushed back at those who have accused him of not being truly conservative, insisting, “I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me.”

“In my state, we have balanced budgets, surplus, we’re up a half-million jobs, and then people say, ‘Kasich’s not a conservative.’ What does that mean?” he asked.

Mr. Kasich, who ran unsuccessfully for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, has been floated as a potential Republican challenger to President Trump in 2020, telling Politico last month that, “All of my options are on the table.”

Speculation heightened after CNBC reported Thursday that Mr. Kasich met last month with billionaire investor and donor Ron Burkle in Los Angeles.

The term-limited governor, who has criticized the GOP’s direction under Mr. Trump, said Democrats are also failing what he called “the great middle.”

“You have a department store that’s red and a department store that’s blue, and neither of them right now are providing products to the great middle, and you know what happens?” he said. “That’s how another store opens up in the neighborhood.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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