OHIO – Ohio Governor John Kasich is running neck and neck at the bottom of the ticket with Senator Rand Paul at 2 percent in the latest Public Policy Polling survey, but he's not given up yet. Saturday morning, Kasich's campaign sent out a press release announcing a Trump-Putin pairing in the ongoing GOP presidential primary.
"In a bold and visionary move characteristic of everything he does, today terrific billionaire Donald Trump named Russian President Vladimir Putin as his running mate in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign," Kasich's announcement mocks. "Trump pledged that together with Putin he would 'Make Tyranny Great Again.'"
Kasich's joke goes on, with the campaign's response to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's complimenting Donald Trump Friday as "bright and talented," and Trump responding by saying he is "honored" by Putin's kind words.
The Kasich campaign – led by two key campaign figures that helped Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner win in 2014 – said "Trump said he picked Putin to be his vice president for his strong approach to dealing with dissent, flexible approach to democracy, rule of law and the Constitution, and his willingness to regularly violate other countries’ territorial integrity in blatant violation of international law if it suited his aims," Kasich's press release says.
"'I think I would just get along very well with Vladimir Putin. I just think so. People say what do you mean? I just think we would,' said Trump."
Putin readily accepted Trump’s offer to serve on his ticket, saying, “He’s a really brilliant and talented person, without a doubt…he’s the absolute leader in the presidential race.”
Kasich's campaign concludes: "Concerns that a Putin vice presidency is, well, illegal are just sour grapes from dummies not smart enough to think of it first."
Several in Illinois' Republican higher ranks back Governor Kasich's campaign, including Chairman Christine Radogno, Republican Leader, Illinois Senate and co-chairs:
- Dan Cronin, DuPage County Board Chairman
- Dave Syverson, Illinois State Senator, 35th District
- Ed Sullivan, Illinois House of Representatives, 51st Distrct
- David Harris, Illinois House of Representatives, 53rd District
- Ron Sandack, Illinois House of Representatives, 81st District
- Tom Demmer, Illinois House of Representatives, 90th District
- Randy Frese, Illinois House of Representatives, 94th District
- Jim Schultz, Director, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Chairman, Citizens for Rauner
- Pat Brady, former Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party
- Sean Morrison, Cook County Commissioner, 17th District
- Aaron Del Mar, Chairman of the Cook County Republican Party
- Seth McMillan, Chairman of the Christian County Republican Party
- Jerome Groniger, Chairman of the Coles County Republican Party
- Liz Gorman, former Cook County Commissioner, 17th District
- Cory Jobe, Director, Illinois Office of Tourism, Ward 6 Alderman
- John Farney, Champaign County Auditor
- Kristy Stephenson, City Treasurer, City of Metropolis