Kasich: Trump needs to work with Democrats on health care

Posted at 12:20 PM, Mar 26, 2017

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Sunday that President Donald Trump likely learned a lesson from his failed attempt to pass the Republican health care bill and called the lack of bipartisan cooperation in Washington "pathetic."


"You cannot have major changes in major programs affecting things like health care without including Democrats from the very beginning," Kasich, a Republican, said in an interview with Dana Bash on CNN's "State of the Union."

Republicans have pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare since it became law in 2010. But after several weeks of fraught debate and a lack of support from many within the GOP as well as the full Democratic caucus, Republican leaders pulled their bill on Friday.

Kasich said he thinks Trump would learn something from the defeat and possibly move to work with Democrats on compromise legislation.

"Look, he's going to learn from this, but you can't expect the executive to know everything," Kasich said, adding that he believes Trump's "instincts would have been to cut a deal and to bring the Democrats in."


After the bill was pulled on Friday, Trump gave brief remarks from the White House and blamed Democrats for the upset and said Obamacare would "explode." On Sunday morning, Trump took to Twitter say "Democrats are smiling" because conservative groups sunk his preferred legislation.

Kasich said those with extreme views on both sides of the aisle needed to be "marginalized" and many Democrats would work with Republicans given the chance. Without bipartisan buy-in, "What you pass will never be sustainable," he said.

Kasich expanded Medicaid within his state under Obamacare, one of several Republican governors to do so. He opposed the GOP bill and cited its approach to Medicaid as one reason he was not behind it.

Kasich, who campaigned against Trump in the Republican primary and refused to support him in the general election, said he didn't agree with the assessment that Trump wasn't invested enough in the policy details of the bill to be an effective advocate for it.

"The President's not supposed to be crossing all the T's and dotting all the I's," Kasich said.

Since his losing presidential campaign, Kasich has kept up his public profile somewhat, doing national interviews, maintaining a political organization and working on a book. When asked if these activities were a leadup to a potential run again in 2020, Kasich said, "No."

"I'm not really interested in running for political office again," Kasich said. "You don't close the door on anything, but I don't have my eyes on that."