Two Republicans who have never held elected office — Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Florina — officially will declare their candidacy for the GOP nomination for president today. Carson will do it in his hometown of Detroit. Fiorina will reportedly just issue a statement, though she will appear in an interview with Katie Couric on Yahoo later today to elaborate on why she should be the next POTUS.
There are heavy odds against both of these candidates, which is why some analysts think they may both be vying ultimately to be considered for vice president.
But most intriguing is another Republican with a very long record in office who has still not pulled the trigger yet, but may do so soon. That would be Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
“I’m a normal guy in a big job, and I tell it like it is,” Kasich said on “Fox News Sunday” when asked about whether he has the discipline to run for president.
Kasich made a lot of noise and received a lot of attention as the House Budget chairman when he represented his district in Ohio as a congressman back in the 1990s, and was briefly a candidate for president in 2000, the year that George W. Bush won the nomination. On the campaign trail Kasich talks about how green he was back then, and how more seasoned he is after being out of politics for a decade before becoming governor of Ohio in 2010.
“You know, I tried this thing 16, 17 years ago,” he said yesterday on Fox. “And I didn’t even have any money to put in the car to drive our SUV around. But it’s a little bit different this time. I feel like the message is working of bringing people together. The results here in Ohio give me, I think, a lot of credibility for our team to be able to move forward. And we’ll know over the course of the next few months. We think we’re off to a pretty good start. And we’re going to see how it goes. You know, and if it goes great, I’ll be happy. If it doesn’t go great, I’ll be disappointed. But, you know, I’ll get over it. But at the end of the day, I feel pretty optimistic about things.”
It sounds like he’s running, which means that he doesn’t believe that the Big 3 (as I’m calling them), Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, have a lock on the nomination.
Like Bush, Kasich’s potential bipartisan appeal as a general election candidate might hurt him in a primary, but he ridiculed host Chris Wallace’s contention that he could be considered too moderate for Republican Primary voters.
“Well, you know, I won — I won 86 out of 88 counties in Ohio with almost 64 percent of the vote. I got the conservative vote. I received 51 percent of union households, 60 percent of women and 26 percent of African Americans. You want to be president? You better win Ohio. And, you know, what we’ve been able to do in Ohio with job growth, with tax cuts, the largest in the country, and a history of balancing budgets, Chris, I mean, I think it’s hard to question my conservative credentials. But I will tell you this, as a conservative, I believe that economic growth is a means to an end — we should help — is not a means to an end, but should be used to help people to rise and be lifted. And that’s what all Americans want. Whether they’re Republicans or Democrats.”
While Kasich tours the country and considers a candidacy, yet another former Republican governor who has run for president before — Mike Huckabee — will get into the act tomorrow, when he officially announces his candidacy.