Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich discussed his differences with the president in a recent interview ahead of a speaking appearance at Drew University in New Jersey.
After leaving office, Kasich joined CNN as a political commentator and has announced his sixth book, which will be released in the fall.
As The Ohio Star reported, he’s also started a new non-profit with several prominent Trump critics, but Kasich claims that his feuds with the president aren’t personal.
“Not personally. Go back and take a look at the things I’ve done. It’s been very issue-based. My difference with President Trump is he has been in a position where he’s appealed to his base,” Kasich told USA Today in a recent interview. “I’m more of a uniter than a divider. I don’t like to fight with other people. That’s kind of where our differences are. But as far as calling him names and things like that, I’ve never done.”
Kasich said he’s only critical of the president when he “deserves it,” and pointed to the recent controversy surrounding federal funding for the Special Olympics as an example.
“I’m not setting myself up to be a Trump critic. But if I have a voice where I can comment on issues that I think can be more uniting than dividing, if I can offer something, for example, on health care, I’m going to use my voice to make sure 20 million Americans don’t lose their health care,” he said.
Kasich went on to claim that his “interest is in being a positive voice for something good.”
“But in the process of that, sometimes you have to talk about the downside of what people are talking about,” he continued. “The idea that immigrants, or immigration is bad for the country is just plain wrong. It’s just ridiculous. Immigration helped build our country. To just strip health care away from people and let people with a pre-existing condition be denied health care is not acceptable. But on each of these things, I’ve had my own positive direction where I think we should go.”
Kasich said he hasn’t yet made a decision about whether or not he will run for president again in 2020, but warned the Democratic Party against moving too far to the left.
“One thing I’ve been hearing is that a number of them have been frustrated by the fact that the more moderate positions they hold haven’t been represented,” Kasich said. “I think they’re trying to reclaim the agenda, is what I think. I was on television the other day warning the Democrats that if they hope to be successful in 2020, if the move to the far left, they’re going to lose. I’m friendly with both parties. I get a sense the Democrats realize they cannot let the pool of the far-left activists determine the outcome.”
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