Despite the formidable leads of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the present race for the Republican nomination, Ohio Governor John Kasich sharpened his attacks against both opponents on Tuesday morning, delivering a key speech ahead of the New York primary election on April 19. Speaking at the Women’s National Republican Club in New York, Kasich took issue with the tone and rhetoric of the present election cycle, warning that the outcome of the race “may be the most consequential of many generations.”
CBS News published a preview of Kasich’s speech early Tuesday morning, which signaled a new and decidedly negative tack for the candidate. In many respects, John Kasich has distinguished himself from the Republican field by spending more of his time touting his record and accomplishments rather than engaging in personal attacks.
While the Republican contender did not mention either of his rivals by name in the speech, he discussed in detail a number of controversial proposals and incendiary comments made by both men, with a noticeable emphasis on GOP front-runner Donald Trump. Kasich even invoked Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” during his remarks.
“Some who feeds off of the fears and the anger that is filled by some of us and exploited, feed their own insatiable desires for fame or attention,” Kasich said in the speech televised by CNN. “That could drive America down into a ditch and not make us great again. Just is disturbing are the solutions they offer. We’ve heard proposals to create a religious test for immigration, to target neighborhoods for surveillance, to deport 11.5 million people, to impose draconian tariffs which would crush trade and destroy American jobs. We have heard proposals to drop out of NATO, abandon Europe to Russia, possibly use nuclear weapons in Europe and our defense partnerships in Asia, and tell our Middle East allies to go alone.”
Citing the ugly rivalry between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, Kasich noted a sharp contrast between his approach to campaigning and that of his opponents. He also suggested that the rhetoric of the campaign and some of the specific policies proposed by Trump and Cruz could ultimately bring about the demise of America
“Just as an all-consuming fear of America in decline ends in visions of America’s destruction, a political strategy based on exploiting Americans instead of lifting them up inevitably leads to divisions, paranoia, isolation, and promises that can never, ever be fulfilled, I say to you that this path to darkness is the antithesis of all that America has meant for 240 years.”
Kasich added that he will continue to avoid taking the “low road” in his quest for the Oval Office.
According to Real Clear Politics, Donald Trump’s overall message continues to resonate with voters despite the criticism of politicians and pundits alike. He is heavily favored in the forthcoming New York primary and is a strong national favorite over other contenders.
John Kasich reportedly sees his best chance for success in a contested convention this summer, which provides him with incentive to continue against the prevailing odds. As reported by the Wall Street Journal and other outlets, the Trump campaign has become increasingly vocal over the course of recent weeks regarding perceived disadvantages with regard to how delegates are counted in primaries and the impending fight for the Republican nomination on the convention floor. Donald Trump recently described the process as “rigged,” while members of his staff have pledged to file complaints regarding developments in recent primary contests, including the Colorado primary where Trump lost to Ted Cruz.
[Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images]