WESTERVILLE, Ohio — Drawing on his familiar “two paths” theme former Ohio Governor John Kasich was one of the featured speakers at the Democratic National Convention on behalf of Joe Biden.
"America is at a crossroads,” he said. "I'm proud of my Republican heritage but what I have witnessed these past four years belies those principles."
Kasich spoke to News 5 Tuesday about the message. "I just think that the path we've been going down is not one that leads to any constructive solutions in our country to some of our big problems."
While there was pushback from Republicans and some Democrats, Kasich said most were receptive to his message.
"It's good, I'm very pleased with how it went and I'm very pleased with the people that I care about and their reaction to me but you know you just do your best job and you don't sweat how you're going to be graded or who is going to like it or who is not. I just hope people will listen to it. Listen and think about what I have to say… I would just encourage people to take a look at the speech.”
Former Republican Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, who ran against Kasich for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 before dropping out and backing Donald Trump, said “he's [Kasich] a backstabber and he's an untruthful guy."
The two used to be close with Kasich saying of Christie when Christie came to Ohio to campaign for Kasich in 2014, ”among all of the governors, he's my best friend."
News 5 asked Kasich if that made Christie’s word sting even more?
“Nah, not really,” Kasich said. “I mean it's just politics it's the rough and tumble of all of that stuff I don't pay much attention."
Senator Sherrod Brown on Monday said Kasich could likely help Joe Biden swing moderate Republicans and Independents who voted for Donald Trump towards Joe Biden. We asked Kasich what he felt Biden needed to do to win Ohio.
"I think he has to be very strong about condemning the violence, the unwarranted violence we're seeing in our cities across this country,” Kasich said. “Secondly he's got to show people he's tough enough to do the job because sort of the hit they're putting on him is 'oh well he's too old, he's not strong enough' and I think he needs to show that's simply not true. Those two things would go a long way not just in Ohio but around the country."
As for whether Kamala Harris will help Biden in Ohio?
“Oh I think absolutely yes it's bringing some excitement and I think she'll get better and better at this and I think you'll see it as the convention concludes and they get out on the trail as much as they can.”
Kasich said he hasn’t decided yet whether he will be actively campaigning for Biden, however that may look this year.
“Right now I'm just getting through the talk yesterday, I've got a lot of things that I'm doing that are not connected directly to politics and as to what I would do I just don't know. I'd have to look at what somebody would want me to do as to whether I would do it.”