Gov. John Kasich has been trotted out so many times as a sort of "reasonable Republican" on TV news. The media must have their John Kasichs (and their Charlie Sykes and Jeff Flakes and "No Labels" and "Tea Party") in order to continue to push the "both sides are equally bad/good" narrative.
Gov. Kasich can say some good things, but when it's time to take a real stand on Trump, he wilts in the background.
After Trump went off on his nasty Charlottesville presser on Tuesday, it set the internet and the country on fire. Those who slammed Trump included large numbers of Republicans, but Republican elected officials still insist that he's an actual president worthy of "support."
It's time for that "holding out for the tax cuts" baloney to stop.
On Wednesday morning, Gov, Kasich, an avowed Trump critic from the right, joined NBC's The Today Show and took his familiar stance.
Before the hosts could ask him a question Kasich said, "Pathetic, isn't it? Just pathetic, listening to this, hearing these marchers.
Matt Lauer asked, "So when you listen to the president speaking yesterday and you we heard his comments, saying blame on both sides and there were some 'very fine people' who took part in that neo-Nazi, white nationalist rally, in your heart and in your gut, what did you feel?
Kasich said, "It's terrible. You know, this is terrible. The President of the United States needs to condemn these kind of hate groups."
The governor continued to attack Trump for few minutes, called the presidency another "CEO job," and then said, "I want Donald Trump to understand it's not about winning an argument. It's about bringing the country together."
"He needs to make it clear, I mean, he's got ....Republicans have to speak out, plain and simple. Who cares what party you are in," he said.
Then Lauer put him on the spot and asked for a real condemnation.
Lauer said, "You are a guy by the end of the campaign, people said incredibly good things about your character and your message and what you stood for. Would you be willing to be the guy that goes around to Republican leaders and says, this is our moment, we will tell this president, we no longer support him, period?"
And what was Gov. Kasich's response?
"Well, Matt, he's our president, Okay? I'm here this morning speaking out as aggressively as I can. I hope that it will provide some courage to other people and there are great numbers of people now speaking out. He is our president, but I want to say that he needs to correct what he has said."
Instead of that long winded deflection, what Kasich really said to Lauer was, "I stand by Donald Trump as president."
That's not objecting to Trump's behavior, governor. That's enabling him.