Former Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich delivered a forceful endorsement of Democrat Joe Biden for president during the first night of the Democratic National Convention, lambasting President Trump’s time in office without mentioning him by name.
“The stakes in this election are greater than any in modern times,” Kasich said in a speech recorded outdoors at the intersection of two gravel roads. “Many of us have been deeply concerned about the current path that we’ve been following for the past four years. It’s a path that led to division, dysfunction, irresponsibility and growing vitriol between our citizens. Continuing to follow that path will have terrible consequences for America’s soul because we’re being taken down the wrong road by a president who is pitted one against the other.”
Kasich, who served as Ohio’s governor from 2011 to 2019 and ran against Donald Trump for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, has not shied away from criticizing Trump during his first term. But his appearance at the DNC marked a turning point for the fiscally conservative Republican.
Kasich described Trump as “unlike all of our best leaders before him who worked to unite us.”
“I’m a lifelong Republican,” Kasich continued, “but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country. That’s why I’ve chosen to appear at this convention. In normal times, something like this would probably never happen, but these are not normal times.”
Kasich went on to praise Biden, saying he’d known him for 30 years.
“I know Joe is a good man. A man of faith. A unifier. Someone who understands the hopes and dream of the common man and the common woman,” Kasich said, noting that Biden shared his belief that restoring America meant in treating others with “respect.”
“Yes, there are areas where Joe and I absolutely disagree, but that’s OK, because that’s America,” Kasich added.
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