Kasich Courts Republican New Yorkers Jumping off the Trump Train

Election '16

John Kasich, in Samantha Bee's words the "so-called moderate [who] gets awful stuff done," has begun campaigning in New York in anticipation of the April 19 primary. Unlike GOP candidate Ted Cruz, the Ohio governor is making a point of publicly showing great respect for what New York represents. “Somebody," began Kasich in a speech to a crowd upon arriving in Queens, "was saying this thing about New York values." Note the sly avoidance of crediting his opponents, Ted Cruz, who brought "New York values" into the GOP race's vernacular, and Donald Trump, owner of those "New York values" that are implied to be far left of the GOP base. Kasich continued, "I’ll tell you what New York values are: excitement, innovation, change." (All of which he's angling to prove he's got—just not when it comes to women's rights, that is.)

Kasich—who has won only Ohio to date—trails Trump by an average of 30 points in New York. And while there are 95 delegates at stake, Kasich claimed he’d still campaign in the state “if there was only one delegate [to win]."

Kasich opened up to questions and was promptly asked by a male reporter with an accent one AlterNet editor feels is distinctly native New York, "Do you feel like you're in Donald Trump country? I mean, this is his birthplace." Kasich replied, "I don’t consider [New York] anybody's domain. I think it’s the people’s domain,” Kasich said—although he added that he would be competitive as the race moved onto his “home court,” “New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania.” Especially Pennsylvania.

“Do you like Rocky? Do you like the underdog?” he asked a skeptical Trump supporter at the MSNBC town hall in Howard Beach. “I have been ignored for five months. Everyone pronounced me dead all the time, but we’re the little engine. We keep climbing.”

And we all know what happens to 2016 presidential candidates who start complaining they aren't getting enough time in the spotlight (looking at you, Democratic dropout Jim Webb). It's often the beginning of the end of a campaign when the comments are on how a 15-minute spot of fame is up.

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