Apparently weary of the running critique from John Kasich, President Donald Trump lashed out at the Ohio governor Thursday evening at private GOP dinner in Washington.
Trump bashed Kasich several times by name, Politico reported, according to three people who were present. The president mocked the Ohio governor, labeling him as one of his loudest and most relentless critics during the Republican National Committee dinner at Trump’s Washington hotel.
During an appearance Wednesday before journalists assembled at an AP event, Kasich lamented the relentless attacks on the FBI, Department of Justice and the press.
“The first thing that happens when people want to be bullies and they’re autocrats or whatever it is, is that they go to restrict the press,” Kasich said.
“And these attacks on these institutions like we’re seeing now with the FBI and the Justice Department — I mean these are things that they’re hallmarks of our country. And as we erode them or create enormous doubts in the minds of Americans that there’s anything we can trust — I guess except for what they say about the Kardashians — it gets us in trouble.”
Kasich has appeared on dozens of TV talk shows in the past year, a prime guest since he is the relatively rare Republican who freely criticizes Trump — but also agrees with him on occasion. Kasich also has said he would run again in 2020 if he has the resources and the country calls him to do so.
The Ohio governor of course was the last man standing against Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign, and famously refused to attend the Republican convention that nominated the billionaire even though it was held in Kasich’s home state. Kasich said he wrote in the name of Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain in the election instead of voting for Trump.
But even before Trump took office, he exacted revenge against Kasich, successfully overthrowing Kasich’s handpicked chairman of the Ohio Republican Party and replacing him with a Trump loyalist.
Robert Paduchik, the man who engineered that triumph — and managed Trump’s successful campaign to win Ohio — was brought onstage at the dinner, Politico reported.
The president was described as heaping praise on Paduchik for helping him win the nation’s top bellwether. Paduchik, who also ran George W. Bush’s successful Ohio campaigns as well as Sen. Rob Portman’s effort, is now the No. 2 leader of the Republican National Committee.
Trump also ripped Kasich for not attending the GOP convention in Cleveland, Politico said.
The president’s speech was to be pooled by the media, yet those covering the speech were escorted out a few minutes after he began talking, Politico noted.
Aside from blasting Kasich, Trump described in detail how he recently aced a mental acuity test — an examination, he said, most members of the media wouldn’t pass, Politico said.
He also repeated the factually refuted assertion that he would have won New Hampshire in 2016 had it not been for voter fraud, saying that liberal voters were bussed in from Connecticut and Massachusetts, Politico said.