Kasich Joins CNN, Opens Satellite Studio at Otterbein, Just in Time for Democratic Presidential Debate in Westerville


Former Governor John Kasich joined CNN two weeks after he left office and opened a satellite studio on Otterbein’s campus in Westerville. Next month the Democratic National Committee will bring their remaining candidates for the Presidential nomination to the private college for an October 15th debate.

Alice Nicks, a Delaware County resident who lives within miles of Kasich, told The Ohio Star she thinks Kasich’s CNN connection was directly responsible.

CNN tweeted, “The DNC announces that CNN and the New York Times will co-host the fourth presidential debate next month in Westerville, Ohio. The debate will air live from Otterbein University on October 15 with the possibility a second night will be added.”

Otterbein wrote, “We are excited to share #Otterbein’s remarkable campus and community and highlight our vibrant, innovative and welcoming central Ohio community with a global audience.”

In their announcement, the Ohio Democratic Party tweeted, “The setting for the next #DemDebate — Otterbein University in Westerville, a Franklin County suburb that has been trending blue…”

Joining Anderson Cooper as moderators are CNN‘s Erin Burnett and the New York Times‘ Marc Lacey. No theme has been announced yet. Candidates hoping to qualify for the event, which requires, “A 2% polling threshold in four DNC-approved polls and at least 130,000 unique donors including 400 donors per state from at least 20 states,” according to CNN, are:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden,
  • New Jersey Senator Cory Booker,
  • Mayor from South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg,
  • former HUD secretary for the Obama Administration, Julián Castro,
  • Senator from California, Kamala Harris,
  • Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar,
  • former Texas Congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke,
  • Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders,
  • billionaire, hedge fund manager and liberal activist Tom Steyer,
  • Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and
  • attorney and entrepreneur Andrew Yang

Area residents shared their opinions in a series of statements with The Ohio Star.

One area elected official anonymously declared, “I’d love to watch the ‘Mueslix’ debate…full of fruits and nuts.”

“Need to build a wall around campus…while they are debating,” said Roger Antolik.

A woman from Otterbein’s campus expressed frustration, “What I don’t like is that not one person on campus was asked how they felt about this. It’s just forced down our throats and we are all at risk with no opinion!”

William, who lives on the north side of Westerville, said, “They should find and sign up with Barnum and Bailey instead [of coming here]. The presidential candidates are completely out of touch with the reality of what America is all about. They are the party of hypocrisy. As Jesus said, ‘A Kingdom divided against itself cannot stand’.”

He continued, “They are for tolerance, acceptance, love, peace and Kumbaya if and only if it is in line with their party ideals. They have exposed themselves as the least tolerant, the least accepting, and the most hateful party. They are quickly becoming and being known as the anti-God party.”

“I don’t agree with it,” a male Otterbein student declared. “Personally I believe when they have a debate on a college campus they should showcase both sides, because college students are still impressionable by political parties. A debate like this will make Otterbein look like a Democratic-leaning school which could steer students away from attending Otterbein and bring more protests to the campus, furthering endangerment of the students from opposing sides.”

An anonymous Delaware County man bemoaned, “Great…they will jack up our commute home, like they want to jack up our country.”

Nancy, from the city of Westerville, said, “I have a question for them: how many of you have read the Constitution?” She also wanted to share a final thought, “I have to say I think it’s appropriate that they are showing up on a very progressive campus. And I’m sure Mr. Kasich has something to do with them being invited.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “John Kasich” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Otterbein University” by Otterbein University. 

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