Kasich: ‘All options on table’ following governor term

By Jessica Wehrman

Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Ohio Gov. John Kasich refused to rule out the possibility of a 2020 primary challenge to President Donald Trump Sunday, acknowledging that “all options are on the table” after he leaves the governor’s office at the end of this year.

“All I am doing is making sure that both now and when I’m out that I can have a voice that can help the country — that can bring it together. That’s all I’m particularly interested in at this point,” said Kasich, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper. “And if I go any further I won’t be able to in my house tonight. My wife will have it barricaded.”

Kasich was asked about his plans after a Politico report that the White House viewed him, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska as potential 2020 primary challengers. “This is the first time I’ve heard of it,” Kasich said. “It doesn’t mean much to me.”

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Still, he ruled nothing out.

Kasich also criticized President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel imports, saying the decision will result in consumers facing higher prices and people losing their jobs.

“We ought to modernize the way in which we determine whether the trade agreements are being violated,” Kasich said. “But just to turn around one day and say for this national security reason — which the Department of Defense doesn’t even agree to — doesn’t make much sense.“

He said he supports an expedited process that would allow the U.S. to quickly punish those who cheat on trade deals.

He also expressed concern about the way Trump announced the decision, saying “it would be like me going home tonight having dinner with my family and saying, ‘Girls, I sold the house today.’”

“You don’t just do those things off the cuff,” he said.

Kasich also questioned the Trump administration’s handling of Russia’s new nuclear missile threats, saying though he gives the Trump administration credit for delivering anti-tank weapons to the Ukrainians, more must be done on cyber and working with allies to protect the Baltic states.

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He said that other nations are exploiting the divisions in our country by using cyber warfare to “try to divide us further.” He called for a single cyber command and modernizing the forces. He called for a cleanup of Defense infrastructure, “You don’t need all this infrastructure for all these bases,” he said. “All we’re doing is taking care of pork barrel politics at the expense of other priorities.”