2020 Election

Kasich: ‘We’ll Have to See’ Whether Biden Gives In to the Left

Former Ohio governor John Kasich spoke at the Democratic National Convention Monday to persuade Republicans to back Joe Biden, but he later admitted he's not sure if the Democratic nominee can hold off the left wing of his party.

"We'll have to see," Kasich said on CNN when asked whether Biden would resist pressure from the Democratic base. "I'm hopeful."

In his speech, Kasich addressed those who "fear Joe may turn sharp left and leave them behind," painting Biden as a moderate that the radical left would not be able to "push around." But after Kasich's speech, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) took the virtual stage to argue that Biden's victory would ensure the gains made by the democratic socialist movement he leads.

Kasich was less sanguine about Biden's ability to withstand pressure from the left when he responded to CNN political commentator Scott Jennings late Monday night. Jennings argued Biden, if elected, would not be able to turn away the base of the party demanding radical change, and Kasich said he respected that view.

"I respect the fact that you're concerned that [Biden] could be overwhelmed," Kasich told Jennings. "I happen to think there will be enough people around him, particularly people who are close to him, who will not let that happen."

Sanders in his speech celebrated that the "movement" his campaign started is growing and that the radical ideas he fought for now hold sway in the Democratic mainstream.

"Our campaign ended several months ago, but our movement continues and is getting stronger every day, "Sanders said. "Many of the ideas we fought for that just a few years ago were considered radical are now mainstream."

It was this message from Sanders that Jennings used to critique Kasich's position that Biden was the moderate alternative to President Donald Trump.

"Bernie Sanders himself said it right after [Kasich] tonight: His ideas are now mainstream in the Democratic Party that has nominated Joe Biden, and I find it hard to believe that Joe Biden is going to be able to turn all of those ideas and all the people who support those ideas away if he gets into the White House," Jennings said.