Republican presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich of Ohio said April 21 that he and other GOP lawmakers oppose statehood for the District of Columbia because it would help the Democratic Party.
Jo-Ann Armao, the Washington Post's associate editorial page editor, told Kasich, "But you realize though that people in D.C. pay taxes, go to war and they have no vote in Congress."
"What it really gets down to if you want to be honest is because they know that’s just more votes in the Democratic Party," Kasich replied.
Katich was pressed on the issue, and added:
Yeah, I don’t know. Ruth, I have to see why, maybe I’ll have to flip flop my position, okay? I don’t know. Let me look at it. Let me think about it.
It’s just we’re not — I mean, that’s a good point. It’s kind of hard for me to argue against it. I’d have to hear what the argument is. I’ll call my friend [former Virginia congressman] Tom Davis. He’ll tell me the way to think about this.
Kasich was told that Davis "was for voting rights," and replied, "Was he? I’ll call him, I’ll ask him."
Davis, who supported giving D.C. one voting representative in the House seven years ago, told the Washington Post April 14: "Statehood remains a nonstarter. D.C. has never been a two-party city, so you’re not going to find Republicans willing to just give Democrats two Senate seats."
Despite being a distant third in the GOP race, Kasich may still become his party's nominee.
The Republican National Committee's (RNC) current rule requires that candidates must win the most delegates from eight or more states -- which is not likely to happen for Kasich -- in order to have their names put in for the nomination.
However, RNC strategists told the media April 21 that the rule is a technicality because a candidate without the eight-state threshold can still rake in more delegates at the GOP convention; the below-eight candidate isn't given a space in the convention hall or a nominating speech, notes NBC News.