Saturday, November 14, 2015

Kasich’s debate disaster was a long time coming

By Jason Hart

If Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential hopes went up in smoke Tuesday, it’s because of a fuse he lit in 2013.

Ohioans recognize well the Kasich who, at Tuesday night’s Fox Business Network debate, burned through voters’ goodwill by talking down to everyone who doesn’t see big government as a moral necessity.

Frustrated he’s getting nowhere with the cheery reformer persona he wears on the campaign trail, Kasich reverted to form on a national stage.

Since 2013, Kasich has used his bully pulpit to berate Obamacare critics. By the time he formally entered the Republican primary, his platform depended on convincing voters Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion is fiscally conservative.

Instead of articulating why it would be wrong to take Obamacare money to put working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities on Medicaid, Kasich chose to use the Bible to guilt state lawmakers into expanding the welfare program.

Pushing Obamacare expansion during his February 2013 State of the State address, Kasich bragged his administration was “not ignoring the weak” — and then he called out a specific Republican legislator in the crowd.

“Jim Buchy, the Lord doesn’t want us to ignore them,” Kasich said. In the years since, Kasich has often invoked God, the Bible and St. Peter to shame anyone who speaks up against billions in new federal welfare spending.

Opponents unconvinced by Kasich’s pro-Obamacare spin are dismissed as “ideologues,” a rhetorical tic that resurfaced during Tuesday’s debate as Kasich shrugged off “philosophical concerns.”

Surprisingly, Kasich bombed even without being challenged on his deceptive claims about Obamacare expansion and Ohio’s Medicaid growth.

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