Ohio Governor John Kasich blocked seven of his critics on Facebook immediately after one of them put forth evidence that Kasich is considering a run for the United States Senate in 2018.
The NeverTrump governor is currently on a national book tour, selling an anti-Trump title called “Two Paths,” which insiders in Ohio say is an excuse to set himself up to run for Sherrod Brown’s Senate seat in 2018 and better position himself for another presidential campaign.
“On Sunday night of last week, I posted a couple paragraphs if you want to call it that, of just some theories I had that Kasich is going to run for Senate,” former Hamilton County, Ohio Trump campaign chairwoman Linda Caudill told Big League Politics. Caudill said that Trump’s Ohio campaign manager Rob Scott also told her Friday night at a Lincoln-Reagan dinner that he thinks Kasich is going to run for the soon-to-be-vacant seat against Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel.
“There’s a lot of evidence…He never took his campaign Facebook down. John Weaver, who is his presidential campaign manager, is still on payroll and still working for him. He has this book out, and he’s basically campaigning. The book is all anti-Trump stuff,” Caudill said. “He could make life really tough for Trump. He could muck things up in the Senate for him and could screw things up in Ohio” with fellow establishment Republican Sen. Rob Portman. Caudill posted the theories on Kasich’s Facebook page.
“The next morning, all of us got blocked,” Caudill said.
Kasich blocked seven of his top citizen critics, who coordinate with each other on Facebook to promote unflattering information about Kasich’s professional past at Lehman Brothers and elsewhere. Kasich blocked: Linda Caudill, Jimmy Cardone, Paul Barrett, Mike Pignatello, Jay Dute, Brian Boyer, and Izz Bogart.
“The reason why I think he blocked us is because if it gets out that he’s running for Senate then the media and everyone else can start bringing out all this negative stuff. I’m the only one who’s been putting it out there. I don’t think he wants that coming out yet. He wants to be selling his book on his Mr. Nice Guy thing right now,” Caudill said.
Caudill said that some of her Facebook posts have focused on the details of Kasich’s career as an executive at Lehman Brothers, where he collected a bonus in 2008, the year the firm famously went bankrupt right before the presidential election during the financial collapse.
As this reporter covered, Kasich used the state party to shut down the Trump ground game during the general election against Hillary Clinton, forcing the Trump campaign to officially split off from the state party just as the “Access Hollywood” scandal — which was promoted by establishment Republicans — dominated the race. Tea party activists and pro-Trump volunteers were forced to band together to win the election in Ohio without the help of Kasich’s state party. It was an uphill battle on a shoestring budget, and it eventually paid off with a solid Trump victory.
Pro-Trump activists recently protested NeverTrump figure Bill Kristol’s appearance at a fundraiser for Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Republican Party, holding Trump signs in the rain as Kristol spoke to the $300-a-plate crowd. The division between Trump-supporting Deplorables and the Kasich machine remains as intense as ever.
“The party brought in [Ken] Adelman,” Caudill said. “Kristol came in. They brought in George Will a few months ago. Six months ago they brought in George Bush. They are trying to build up Kasich’s Republican NeverTrumper base for him, that’s the only Republican base he has. The other Republican people are all in the Trump camp. They don’t want anything to do with Kasich.”
The top five-star review for Kasich’s book on Amazon, by reviewer Mark Jordan, reads: “Ironic that the Trump troops, sent by the Free Republic, writing negative reviews in an effort to drive down this book’s rating, prove one of the Kasich’s primary points, America is divided. People on both sides find it almost impossible to have a civilized discussion and are incapable of finding common ground for the good of the country. All of the negative reviews by people who have not purchased or read the book are exhibit #1 of the country we have become. Thank you, Governor Kasich, for a thoughtful contribution that hopefully will give some people hope. An excellent read.”
Kasich’s gubernatorial office did not return a request for comment for this report.