By Jason Hart | Watchdog.org
Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s defense of Obamacare at an exclusive New York City event last week has left-wing pundits singing Kasich’s praises.
At a closed dinner hosted by the conservative Committee to Unleash Prosperity, the Republican governor on Wednesday reiterated his support for Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid to able-bodied, working-age childless adults.
Responding to questions from Manhattan Institute senior fellow and Forbes opinion editor Avik Roy, Kasich stuck to his insistence Medicaid expansion is both conservative and biblical, prompting negative coverage from Newsmax and National Review.
Kasich “showed his prickly side during a testy back-and-forth” with Roy, National Review’s Eliana Johnson reported.
The grief John Kasich is getting over Medicaid — see here http://t.co/8VNSn7vvte — speaks well of his character. And his values.
— Jonathan Cohn (@CitizenCohn) March 27, 2015
Supply-siders apparently think John Kasich is a monster for thinking poor people deserve health insurance. http://t.co/oVHsjPdVEp
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) March 27, 2015
Salon published a Joan Walsh column on Kasich’s exchange with Roy, headlined, “The rich’s Scott Walker bungle: Why plutocrats fell for the wrong GOP governor.”
“Kasich is what Scott Walker pretends to be: A practical Midwestern governor of a hugely important swing state with a track record of governing,” Walsh wrote.
Kasich’s “refusal to apologize for expanding Medicaid or participate in bashing the poor makes him unacceptable to many in the donor class,” she opined.
Watchdog.org emailed Walsh for comment on how Medicaid expansion support from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, glowing coverage of Kasich from center-right Fox News and Republican electoral success running against Obamacare fit with her premise.
“Actually, you pretty much know what I think,” she replied. “You know more than I do, so what do you think?”
At The New Republic, Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig asserted, “unlike his Republican competitors, Kasich takes Christian politics very seriously.”
Kasich isn't going to win, but he should run so rightwingers have to reckon with his pro-poor Christianity http://t.co/AL4GS1M93c
— Elizabeth S. Bruenig (@ebruenig) March 27, 2015
Bruenig, who slammed the “sham Christianity” of Roy and other Obamacare critics in a Salon column last October, noted “it seems that Kasich has kept the free-market right rankled enough to retain their censure to this day.”
After expressing her opinion Kasich would have no chance in a Republican presidential primary, Bruenig concluded, “Kasich should still run.”
“His sturdy brand of Christian politics belongs in a nation that has, for the greater part of the last century, drowned in rhetoric that paints Christianity and capitalism as natural allies, despite all evidence to the contrary,” she said.
In an email to Watchdog, Roy confirmed that Newsmax accurately described his exchange with Kasich at the event.
Kasich, who contends he is against President Obama’s 2010 health insurance law, replied in the affirmative when Roy asked, “Is it fair to say you support repealing Obamacare except for the Medicaid expansion?”
More than two-thirds of the Ohioans insured under Obamacare are enrolled in Kasich’s Medicaid expansion, which has cost federal taxpayers more than $2.7 billion and added 510,544 Ohioans to the Medicaid rolls in just 14 months.
“Maybe you think we should put them in prison,” Kasich told Roy after further questioning. The governor is accustomed to a supportive media reporting his Obamacare talking points without skepticism.
Asked for his thoughts on Kasich’s responses to his questions, Roy said a National Review Online post he wrote in November still applies.
“John Kasich believes that critics of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion are not sincere but ‘really either political or ideological,’ and that Medicaid expansion opponents will literally rot in hell,” Roy wrote.
“The chances of John Kasich marrying Kate Upton are higher than the chances of John Kasich contending for the GOP nomination,” he said.
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