Holy roller John Kasich likes to say he’s such a nice guy. But is he really?
During the last GOP Debate, Kasich had his most memorable moment when he said something like, “Look at me, dammit! Listen to how nicely I’ve been speaking and interacting with all of the other Philistines on the stage. I’m so much better than all of them, because I’m NICE.”
Watch it for yourself.
Kasich has been trying to convince voters that he is Mr. Nice Guy, and he’s been pushing this narrative pretty hard, too. In a recent interview with Hugh Hewitt, Kasich referred to himself as “the prince of light and hope” while likening his opponents to Satan. “I don’t spend all my time getting people riled up about how bad everything is,” he told Hewitt. “I acknowledge the challenges, but then I say, ‘Look, come together, as Americans first; we can solve these problems.'”
When thanking a crowd of voters in New Hampshire after he placed a distant second behind Donald Trump in the primary, he claimed that his campaign has never gone negative. “We have had tens and tens of millions of dollars spent against us with negative advertising,” he said. “See that’s the old politics. We never went negative because we have more good to sell than to spend our time being critical of someone else.”
Another aspect of Kasich’s Pollyanna act is his tendency to invoke St. Peter to justify bad policy decisions, like circumventing the Republican-controlled legislature to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion unilaterally. Here are two of his most obnoxious holier-than-thou moments:
1. “Now, when you die and get to the meeting with Saint Peter, he’s probably not going to ask you much about what you did about keeping government small. But he is going to ask you what you did for the poor.”
2. “When ya get to see St. Peter he’s not gonna ask, ‘Did you balance the budget?’ He’s going to say, whether he’s Peter or whether he’s Jacob, ‘What’d you do for the least of those?’”
We get it, Kasich. You think you’re an altar boy. Here’s where this gets complicated, and by complicated, I mean that his Mr. Nice Guy act is actually just a front.
The Kasich Campaign Is a Pack of Brooding Vipers
Those who knew Kasich back in Ohio have said that his recent attempts to come across as a nice guy are just an act. The only reason people are buying it in places like New Hampshire is because they “don’t know any better.” And his team of advisers and consultants is subtweeting jerkwads. Here are a few gems from their respective timelines:
Not sure I’ve ever seen someone list their mother and brother on a job application.— John Weaver (@JWGOP) February 16, 2016
Imagine a NASCAR driver mentally preparing for a race knowing one of the drivers will be drunk. That’s what prepping for this debate is like— John Weaver (@JWGOP) July 27, 2015
Yeah, these are the people whose job it is to sell Kasich as a nice guy.
Kasich has also been hitting Jeb! pretty aggressively lately. In a web ad the Kasich campaign rolled out three weeks ago, the video basically calls the former Florida governor a loser.
“What happened to Jeb?” a voice asks in the ad. “He had the name, the money, the support. And yet a lukewarm message, weak debates, and sagging polls.”
At the end of the ad, Kasich is heard saying, “I’m John Kasich, and I approved this message.”
He has since tried to walk back the ad, claiming he didn’t actually see or approve the ad before it was released. Kasich is either lying, which he is apt to do, or he is telling the truth. Either way, this looks pretty bad for Kasich and pokes holes in his Mr. Nice Guy street cred.
You Can Stop Yelling Now, Kasich
In the most emblematic moment of his campaign so far, Kasich criticized Jeb! last week for being too negative. While at a pancake diner in South Carolina, Kasich smilingly chastised his opponent for not being nice enough, while telltale veins were protruding from his forehead and neck.
I can picture him nearly shouting these words while banging his fists on the table, upsetting a glass of orange juice or a little pitcher of maple syrup.
“Jeb is spending all his time being negative,” he said. “He needs to start being more positive. … I don’t know what he’s thinking. Does he realize the family legacy? Spending all your time being negative? But I don’t have time for that.”
Those words are classic examples of Fake Nice Kasich. He gets flustered then substitutes what he actually wants to say about another candidate with a “but he isn’t nice!” line. In fact, throughout his entire campaign, the proverbial veins in Kasich’s forehead have been bulging, as he screams and whines about his opponents while he hides behind his creepy grin.
He’s even gone so far as to use biblical allegories to describe himself as a favorite of St. Peter while employing a pack of brooding vipers who are rolling out the kinds of attack ads he swears against. And then later he pretends that he had nothing to do with it.
Drop the act, Kasich. Your halo is tarnished.