Outgoing Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich hinted he could run against his own party to challenge President Trump as a third-party candidate in 2020 during an appearance Monday on ABC News’ “The View.”
“I don’t know,” Kasich said when asked by co-host Whoopi Goldberg if he’s running for president.
“I mean, all of my options are on the table. You know, in the Republican Party… pretty hard because it’s kind of locked down right now, but we don’t know what’s going to come in the future,” he said. “I think, for the first time, there is a legitimate chance for a third-party candidate.”
The two-term Ohio governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate explained the need for “a calming, positive” voice to get “this country back on track again” and promised he isn’t planning on disappearing from the public eye despite being term-limited and prevented from running for re-election.
“If you have the Republicans on the extreme, and the Democrats on the extreme, there is a big, wide-open space in the middle so all of my options are on the table,” Kasich said. “It’ll be fun.”
Co-host Meghan McCain then asked if he’d run as an Independent, as opposed to launching a primary attack against Trump for the Republican nomination.
“Right today, it would be very hard to win a primary,” he said. “I mean, I could do well in New Hampshire but I’d go down, you know down south, and I’d get blown out.”
Kasich declared that he would only run if it were “legitimate” and he would have a chance to move the country in the “right direction.”
“But the primary situation, on both sides, sounds like it's destroying the country,” co-host Joy Behar said.
Kasich fired back that maybe that’s why Americans are ready for a third party – but cautioned that it's too soon to make any predictions.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen next week, let alone what’s going to happen in the next six months or a year,” he said.
Once a longshot for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Kasich concentrated his efforts on New Hampshire and came in second to Donald Trump in the Feb. 2016 GOP primary. He kept his campaign alive deep into the primary calendar and unlike Trump’s other rivals for the nomination, Kasich never endorsed Trump for president. Kasich has remained a critic of President Trump and the Republican Party.
Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine are locked in a tight battle to replace Kasich as Ohio governor.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.