Betrayal: Gov. Kasich Announces He Will Veto Heartbeat Bill and Stand Your Ground Measure
Oh, John Kasich, how many times you have betrayed your party, your state, and your country — so many that we've lost count.
The most recent entry to the list is the Ohio governor's announcement that he will veto two bills that are near and dear to the hearts of conservatives who propelled him to victory in 2010 and 2014: The aptly named "heartbeat bill" and "stand your ground" legislation.
Kasich told reporters outside his office Monday that he opposes both bills. If Kasich follows through with the veto threat, this will be the second time in two years he's vetoed the "heartbeat bill," which would ban abortions in Ohio after a baby's heartbeat can be detected. The "stand your ground" legislation would allow armed Ohioans facing a threat or perceived threat to defend themselves with lethal force in public places with no “duty to retreat."
Kasich, the son of a mailman, signed a 20-week abortion ban in 2016 but vetoed a separate measure that would have protected babies with beating hearts from abortions. He said at the time that the law would have been struck down. "The State of Ohio will be the losing party in that lawsuit and will be forced to cover the legal fees for the pro-choice activists' lawyers," Kasich said. "Therefore, this veto is in the public interest."
On the issue of gun rights, Kasich has been all over the board. As a member of the House in the 1990s, he voted for the controversial so-called "assault weapons ban," joining with Dianne Feinstein and other liberal Democrats to help pass the measure. Since becoming governor, he has been cheered by gun rights activists in the state for signing into law several measures they supported. But in recent months, Kasich has been rattling his saber about the need for stricter gun control laws in the wake of recent mass shootings.
Last Ohio's lame-duck governor jetted to New Hampshire to test the waters for yet another presidential run.
"I mean, all options are on the table," he told reporters. "And the question is, ultimately, can I have a very positive impact on the country. Kasich said he believes an independent run might be a viable option. "There's a vast ocean in the middle," he said.
Both the "heartbeat bill" (which had 53 co-sponsors) and the "stand your ground" legislation passed the Ohio House with veto-proof majorities and are now headed to the Senate. If the Senate delays a vote, the bills could become victims of the Christmas holidays and die when the legislative session ends on December 31. If the bills do pass in the Senate, Kasich will have ten days to either veto or sign them into law.