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Government & Politics

Kasich Condemns White Nationalists and Criticizes Trump's Response to Them

photo of John Kasich
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Gov. John Kasich has turned up the heat on President Donald Trump in the aftermath of Trump’s shaky position on white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the KKK and other hate groups. This marks another turn in the evolution of Kasich’s relationship with the Trump administration.

During an interview on NBC’s Today Show, Gov. John Kasich outright condemned the hate groups behind this weekend’s march that turned violent in Charlottesville, Va. He said it was terrible that President Trump has not clearly denounced white nationalists, neo-Nazis and KKK behind it.

“Now these folks are apparently going to go other places and they think that they had some sort of a victory. There is no moral equivalency between the KKK, the neo-Nazis, and anybody else,” he said.

On Twitter, for the first time, Kasich ripped white nationalists saying there was no room for them in the Republican Party.

'Now these folks are apparently going to go other places and they think that they had some sort of a victory.'

Kasich said during the Today Show interview that he’s been restrained in his criticism of Trump, though he has been an outspoken critic of him since before Trump became the Republican presidential nominee more than a year ago. But his stance on Trump’s comments regarding white nationalists in particular has grown stronger in the past couple of months.

In late January he tweeted a statement chiding Trump’s travel ban covering seven predominantly Islamic countries. Democrats took it further, criticizing the executive order as reflecting white nationalist rhetoric. But at a forum in February, Kasich deflected a question about that.

“Are you concerned that there are white nationalists who have control in the White House right now.”

Kasich: “Look I’ve said all I have to say. I’ve been at it for 11, or 12 or 13 days I’m not saying anymore today.”

He cut off a further question with: “I just said what I’ve had to say.”

In the Today Show interview, Kasich said that the president is generating a bitterness across the country but stopped short of saying that he would call on fellow Republicans to stop supporting Trump.