Donald Trump may have been the highest-profile Republican at the White House Thursday, but he wasn’t the only one. Ohio Gov. John Kasich was there, too, and Trump’s most vocal rival during the primaries and then after had some surprisingly conciliatory words for the president-elect.
According to The Hill, Kasich was there to celebrate the Cleveland Cavaliers’ improbable run to the NBA championship this past summer. On his way out, Kasich said that Americans need to respect another improbable victor: Donald Trump.
“I just want to remind everyone in our country that the office of the presidency needs to be respected,” Kasich told reporters.
“Today, I said my prayers on the plane for the success of Donald Trump,” he added. “And I think as Americans, we all need to come together.”
While plenty of Republicans and Democrats who had breathlessly declared that a Trump presidency would be nothing sort of Mussolini’s Italy have come forward to give similar statements to Kasich’s, the Ohio governor’s intransigence made Thursday’s announcement considerably more surprising.
Gov. John Kasich was technically the last Trump rival to drop out of the Republican primary, exiting just hours after Sen. Ted Cruz did. The Ohio politician never really had a chance at beating Trump, having won only his home state, but had hoped that his establishment bona fides might help him at a brokered convention.
Even after his exit, Kasich refused to endorse Trump, instead voting for Sen. John McCain as a write-in vote. (Given that McCain was not one of the 18 candidates eligible for write-in votes in Ohio, according to the Columbus Dispatch, he would have been better off just writing in Joey Buttafuoco for giggles.)
Even without Kasich’s support, Trump managed to win Ohio.
“Donald Trump is a man I cannot and should not support,” Kasich said at the time. “I will not vote for a nominee who has behaved in a manner that reflects so poorly on our country. Our country deserves better.”
Well, voters across the country did support Trump, and John Kasich has now changed his tune. Without commenting on Donald Trump’s character or anything he did during the presidential election, what Kasich did shows that — like so many other politicians — his outrage was merely posturing.
Unfortunately, many liberals did not believe that manufactured outrage was fake. That can be seen in the streets of cities like New York, Oakland, Portland and Seattle, among others, where liberals who were outraged that Trump supporters might not “accept the results” are now rioting because they don’t accept the results.
Maybe if politicians had said the kind of measured, sensible things John Kasich is saying now at the beginning, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
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