Kasich, who was a rival of Trump in the 2016 GOP presidential primaries who never endorsed the party’s nominee, called on other Republicans to “take off our partisan hats and put our nation first for ourselves and of course for our children.”
Kasich, in criticizing Trump, said that “many of us have been deeply concerned about the current path we’ve been following for the past four years,” adding that it has created “division, disfunction, irresponsibility, and growing vitriol between our citizens.”
“I’m a lifelong Republican, but that attachment holds second place to my responsibility to my country,” he said. “That’s why I’ve chosen to appear at this convention.”
Kasich, who was seen on video speaking from a gravel crossroads, was seemingly brought in to appeal to disaffected Republicans or independents to possibly broaden Biden’s voter base.
In response, President Trump’s reelection campaign said Kasich is a “sore loser” who endorsed the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that was signed by President Barack Obama in early 2016. Trump withdrew the U.S. signature from the agreement, saying it would wreak havoc on the U.S. economy and its independence.
“John was a loser as a Republican. Never even came close,” Trump himself told reporters onboard Air Force One on Monday. “He hasn’t done too well with Trump. He’s been easy pickings,” the president said.
Other Republicans criticized Kasich for partaking in the DNC. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, told ABC News that Kasich’s endorsement would have “zero” impact against Trump’s reelection, adding: “They’re absolutely meaningless.”
From the left, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) also offered criticism of Kasich’s appearance at the DNC.
“It’s great that Kasich has woken up & realized the importance of supporting a Biden-Harris ticket. I hope he gets through to GOP voters,” she wrote on Twitter. “Yet also, something tells me a Republican who fights against women’s rights doesn’t get to say who is or isn’t representative of the Dem party,” she added.
The DNC is being held from Aug. 17 until Aug. 20, including speakers such as former President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), former first lady Michelle Obama, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and others.
Both Biden and his vice presidential pick, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), are also scheduled to speak and will be most likely nominated.