Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) officially kicked off his 2016 presidential campaign on Tuesday, becoming the latest in a long line of GOP candidates to throw their hats into the ring.
Several outlets — including the National Journal, FiveThirtyEight, Politico, and Salon — recently noted that Kasich’s candidacy is similar to that of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R), whose 2012 campaign flopped despite its theoretical appeal.
Even Huntsman’s daughter, MSNBC host Abby Huntsman, wrote on Twitter that Kasich’s campaign reminded her of her father’s:
Like Jon Huntsman, Kasich is often branded by the media as a dark-horse candidate, willing to buck his own party to tell it like it is. Pundits and analysts say he could have crossover appeal and fare well in a general election.
However, as the National Journal’s Shane Goldmacher wrote, “Kasich shares far more than Huntsman’s willingness to scold fellow Republicans. Kasich has essentially imported both Huntsman’s campaign strategy (betting on New Hampshire) and his campaign team. Three of Huntsman’s old top advisers — strategists Fred Davis, John Weaver, and Matt David — are leading both Kasich’s campaign and his super PAC.”
Huntsman withdrew from the 2012 race after not winning a single primary. But Kasich, who is lagging in the polls and may not even make it on stage for the first GOP debate, is not backing down and vowed during his Tuesday campaign speech to be the next occupant of the Oval Office.
“Some are going to ask, as they always have, ‘Why do you think you can do this?’ You know, all of my life people have told me, ‘You can’t do something,'” Kasich said. “I’ll tell you why: It’s because I do believe in the power of very big ideas — big, bold ideas.”
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