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Gov. John Kasich speaks at a campaign event in New Hampshire in 2016. (provided via Gage Skidmore)

Three clues as to why John Kasich is fed up with the GOP

John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, hinted Sunday he might leave the GOP if the party didn’t change.

In a segment on CNN’s “State of the Union," Kasich told Jake Tapper the party needed to “be straightened out”.

“If the party can't be fixed, Jake, then I'm not going to be able to support the party,” Kasich said. “Period. That's the end of it.”

Kasich was considered to be more moderate than most Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential primaries, and he was the last major candidate to oppose now President Trump. Since then, he’s spoken out extensively to comment on the actions of his party, the president and politicians in general. 

Here are three other times he’s shown his displeasure with the Republican Party.

The other time he indicated he might leave

In October 2016, less than a month before the presidential election, Kasich said in an interview with Business Insider that the Republican Party must evolve or else it will die.

In an interview with Allan Smith, a Business Insider political reporter and Post alumnus, Kasich talked about the importance of bipartisan action. He wouldn’t comment on conservative media outlets pushing certain agendas that seem to be in favor of President Donald Trump, but against traditional conservative values, but he said the party would never win “an ideological debate” on issues such as immigration or trade “in a major way.”

“I do believe that the party needs to evolve, or I won't be a part of it,” Kasich said.

The time he teamed up with Colorado’s Democratic governor to advocate health care reform

Kasich repeatedly said he is not planning a presidential ticket with John Hickenlooper, the Democratic governor of Colorado, but the pair teamed up this summer to advocate for better health care reform, leading to such speculation.

When the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, came out, Kasich used the bill to increase Medicaid-expansion funding. Many in the statehouse were against it, but as Kasich told NPR, the money he accepted for Ohio was “the money of the people who live in my state."

Many Republicans worked together to repeal and replace the ACA, but Kasich was against such action. That put pressure on Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to oppose the bill as well.

After much of the debate was put on hold, Kasich and Hickenlooper released a plan to salvage parts of the Affordable Care Act while changing certain contentious parts. In their plan, the duo looked for ways to fix the current law rather than repeal it. Deborah Goeken of the Colorado Health Institute noted that while the bill “is surely bipartisan, it has a definite Democratic tilt.”

All the times he’s spoken against his party since Trump won the nomination

Kasich has not been afraid to speak up when he is unhappy with his party. In a New York Times op-ed in July, he accused Republicans of pursuing “fixes that go too far the other way” when trying to fix healthcare. Four months earlier, he wrote a similar op-ed in the Times that warned such actions would put the GOP on “a course that can only further divide the nation.”

He’s expressed his anger against more than just health care, though. He accused Congress of taking too long to resolve DACA issues, going so far as to write in an opinion piece for The Columbus Dispatch that “Congress must act quickly to put this program into law.” 

In particular, Kasich has frequently spoken out against Trump. He called the president out for failing to condemn white nationalist groups following demonstrations in Charlottesville. He criticized Trump’s comments on people in Puerto Rico, saying “when people are in the middle of the disaster, you don’t start trying to criticize them. I just — I don’t know what to say.” 

Kasich didn’t even vote for the president — instead, he wrote in John McCain’s name, following through on a promise made after recordings surfaced of Trump making aggressive sexual comments about women.

While Kasich may not change his political affiliation any time soon, he has demonstrated time and time again that he has no problem speaking up when he sees a problem. 


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