(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) Do-gooders wanting America’s two big political parties to work with each other may be getting nowhere in Washington, D.C., but there’s a bipartisan bromance brewing in some governors’ mansions.
Conservatives, though, may not be enthralled with this particular version of bipartisanship.
The two governors who make up this political Odd Couple are Republican John Kasich of Ohio and Democrat John Hickenlooper of Colorado. The Hill newspaper reported Aug. 2 that Hickenlooper won’t rule out a White House run with Kasich in 2020. (It’s not clear who would lead the ticket and who would run for vice president.)
Hickenlooper said that Kasich “knows as much about the federal budget, and understands healthcare at a deeper level, than almost any other governor I know. I don’t think it’s in the cards. But I do like the idea of working with him in some context at some point.”
PREVIOUSLY: Kasich Says Obamacare Repeal ‘Not a Good’ Idea
Hickenlooper and Kasich have joined forces in recent weeks to urge bipartisan cooperation on federal health-care legislation, and to organize other governors to speak out against full repeal of Obamacare. On CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday (as the CBS web site reported it), “Kasich said Democrats may have to be willing to allow more choices in the insurance marketplace to help drive costs down, while Republicans will have to admit that ‘there’s going to be a group of people out there who are going to need help.’”
Moreover: “If you don’t worry about which party gets the credit or which politician gets the credit, it can work,” Kasich said. “Now, I can’t guarantee you that Hickenlooper and I are going to agree on this, but I’m hopeful.”
As Democrats go, Hickenlooper is considered fairly moderate – or at least moderately pro-business. Colorado right now has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. And on health care, Hickenlooper does agree with a notion usually pushed by Republicans, namely that the government should not require that people purchase plans covering health issues that won’t affect them – such as post-menopausal women being forced into insurance plans that cover pregnancy services.
On the other hand, Hickenlooper signed Colorado up for compliance with the left-wing, anti-business agenda of the Paris Climate Agreement – an accord that, by some estimates, would eventually cost the United States some 9 million jobs and $3 trillion. As early as 2013, local Colorado papers were reporting that his moderate image was taking a beating because he signed gun-control measures, delayed an execution of a brutal murderer, and tacitly supported a tax hike.
And, like most liberals, Hickenlooper is an avid advocate for the abortion-providing conglomerate, Planned Parenthood.
As for Kasich, the formerly conservative U.S. House Budget Committee chairman moved substantially towards the mushy middle as governor even before he ran for president last year – and since his primary losses to Donald Trump, he has moved even further leftward. Kasich aggressively pushed for Ohio to accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, has denigrated the religious-liberty concerns of providers of professional services, has supported higher taxes for energy and gas extraction, supports the controversial Common Core national education standards – and of course was throwing verbal fire from the very start this year, from the left, against congressional Republicans’ efforts to repeal Obamacare.
Kasich has been reported to be already preparing the groundwork for another presidential run in 2020, running as a supposedly centrist alternative who wants to “exclude those who are on the edges because they’re disruptors and not in a positive way.”
Judging from Kasich’s extremely pro-Medicaid-expansion position on health-care reform, his definition of “those who are on the edges” appears to include some 90 percent of the House Republican Conference that voted earlier this year to send an Obamacare repeal to the Senate. His bipartisanship might be winning friends in the establishment media, but conservatives appear to have had as much of him as they can take.
On Monday in National Review Online, Jim Geraghty called Kasich “The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.”
Geraghty gets the last word for now: “If for some reason, Trump isn’t on the ballot in 2020, then Republicans will have better options than a governor who’s always willing to criticize his own party and winning rave reviews from Joy Behar and the editorial board of the New York Times.”