Former Ohio Governor John Kasich is reported to speak on behalf of Democratic presumptive nominee Joe Biden at next month's Democratic National Convention.
The plans for Kasich to speak at the Democratic convention were first reported by the Associated Press Monday morning. It is unknown if Kasich, a staunch critic of President Trump will explicitly endorse Biden during his remarks at the convention. According to a person with “direct knowledge” of Kasich’s plans, the former Ohio Governor was one of the handful high-profile Republicans likely to support the Democratic nominee and has been approached to speak on Biden’s behalf next month.
Deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield didn’t confirm the specific discussions, but said the campaign has begun courting Republicans support to show that Biden is “able to work across the aisle,” similar to its outreach with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
“In terms of Republican supporters, I think it speaks to a career of being able to work across the aisle, of being able to actually get things done,” Bedingfield said. “We welcome the support of anybody who’d rather see Joe Biden be president than Donald Trump.”
The Trump campaign mocked the relevance of Kasich speaking at the Democratic convention.
"Democrats recruit Democrat to speak at Democratic Convention," Trump 2020 campaign senior advisor Jason Miller tweeted.
Kasich, who unsuccessfully ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 refused to endorse Trump after ending his bid. He also skipped attending the Republican National Convention despite it being held in his home state. Since then, Kasich has become a frequent critic of the president, going as far as supporting calls for Trump’s impeachment last year.
Trump won Kasich’s home state in 2016 against Hillary Clinton by 8 points, despite it going to President Obama both times in 2008 and 2012. Ohio is one of the biggest prizes in the presidential election and support from Kasich can help Biden win this important swing state which is known as the predictor of who the presidential winner will be nationwide.
Real Clear Politics average in Ohio shows Trump and Biden in a statistical tie of 44.7 percent. However, the two recent polls conducted in the Buckeye state show Biden leading by two points with 45-43 percent in early June according to a Fox News poll and Biden ahead by one point with 46-45 percent in a Quinnipiac poll surveyed in late June.
The Trump campaign recently purchased $18.4 million in television advertising in Ohio for the fall, the second-largest ad of the six swing states purchase slated to run in the eight weeks between Labor Day and Election Day, according to figures from Medium Buying.
The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to take place from August 17 to August 20 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, the convention is expected to be a largely virtual affair as part of coronavirus precautions. Biden will deliver his acceptance speech in a smaller venue in downtown Milwaukee.