Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Friday refused to rule out running for president on Friday but said it’s “unlikely.”
“In terms of politics, I don’t know what the future brings, but I know it’s in front of me,” Kasich told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington.
Kasich said that even after he leaves the governorship, he plans to raise money and keep a team of advisers and consultants in place so that he can remain active politically and vocal on policy issues. But he insisted that that effort, and the new book he’s now promoting, is not to set up a presidential bid.
While Kasich has spoken at length about the GOP diverging from his own views, he reiterated Friday that he’s still a Republican.
“I’m not giving up on my party,” he said. But he believes the political landscape is changing with the rise of independents and that a well-funded independent could win the presidency.
Asked to grade President Donald Trump’s first three months, the frequent Trump critic gave him an “incomplete.” Kasich has met with Trump in the Oval Office and sounded slightly more sympathetic to a president who has no legislative accomplishments to speak of so far.
“I told him I didn’t have a great 100 first days when I was governor. You gotta give him time,” Kasich said. “But I happen to believe he doesn’t really care what the plan is,” Kasich said.
“He’s beginning to realize he actually has a board of directors made up of 435 and 100,” Kasich said. The Ohio governor remains opposed to health care proposals from House Republicans that he believes would “take health care away from millions of people.”
On foreign policy, Kasich advocated “taking out” the North Korean leadership. “The North Korean top leadership has to go,” he said.
“I don’t want to say anymore than that, but that’s what I believe we need to do, as opposed to a full military strike,” Kasich said.