Why John Kasich is Supporting Joe Biden at the DNC

This week marks the start of a political convention unlike any other, as the Democratic National Convention gets underway – via videoconference. Speakers are drawn from a roster of high-profile Democratic names, but there are Republicans in the mix too. Most prominent among them is former Governor of Ohio John Kasich, who is crossing the aisle to make his argument for Joe Biden.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you why a high-profile Republican is going to a democratic convention to make the case for the other guy.

FMR. GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH): Well, Christiane, you know, I didn’t endorse Trump in the last election. I was afraid he was going to be a divider, and he’s turned out to be a divider. And I look at Joe Biden. I’ve known him for a long time, and I don’t see him as a divider. I see him as a uniter. I think the very soul of our country and how we proceed is at risk here, and I’ve just been amazed and flummoxed in some sense and saddened by the division I see in our country. And Christiane, it’s different. It’s not just the division among politicians but it’s now division among citizens, and America doesn’t do very well when we can’t get along. And I’m disturbed that it’s not, as I say, the ruling class, these elected officials, but I see the people heading in the same direction, and I don’t think we do well as a country when we’re fighting and I know there is nothing that is too difficult to solve if we’re united. And so, I will be making an appeal for people to put country over party. It seems like it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be able to do, Christiane. We have to stop this.

AMANPOUR: Well, it is interesting, because you may not have endorsed Trump, as you said, but it’s another thing to literally cross the aisle, so to speak, and endorse the opposite party. And you’re not the only one. I mean, today they announced Former Governor Christine Todd Whitman as well as Meg Whitman who once ran for president for the Republicans and Susan Molinari, former congresswoman. What do you hope to achieve apart from defeating Trump?

KASICH: Well, I really want to see unity again. I want people to knock off these clenched teeth communication within families, between neighbors, and I want — I’m trying to create a little space. Sometimes somebody’s got to take the — you know, to step out and take the heat so that somebody can come behind them and try to restore things. I’d like to see a Congress that can disagree without being disagreeable. I’d like them to be able to attack the big issues that we have in front of us, issues like climate, issues like what we do about the wealth gap, what we do about health care in this country. These are things that are very important, but I also believe that change comes from the bottom up. And as long as we can’t speak to one another or we hold it against somebody because they have a point of view that we don’t have, how is the community supposed to work? How are they supposed to function? So, what I’m really trying to achieve is to get people to say, look, I’m an American before I’m a Republican before I’m a Democrat. We’re all made in the image of the lord and we have to respect people. We can’t just cancel people out. These are things that are very important. And it’s not inconsistent with anything I’ve done, frankly, throughout my entire career.

About This Episode EXPAND

John Kasich explains why he has crossed the aisle to make his argument for Joe Biden at the DNC. Filmmakers Taghi Amirani and Walter Murch discuss their new documentary on the CIA/MI6-backed 1953 coup in Iran. Anthropologist Wade Davis explains how the COVID-19 pandemic is signaling “the unraveling of America.”