Ohio Governor John Kasich probably isn’t going to be president, unless you’re part of the roughly two percent of the Republican voting public who want him to be president and you’re very persuasive. But that doesn’t make it any less hilarious that a man running for that office would hear the words “Oregon militia” from a reporter and respond, roughly, “Huh?”

That is exactly what happened between John Kasich and a Des Moines Register reporter, in a real bummer of an incident we saw via Talking Points Memo. Kasich was asked about the heavily armed white men occupying a wildlife refuge on Monday, the thing that’s been dominating the news cycle all weekend, has the potential to turn into another Waco and/or Ruby Ridge, and is probably adding a baby ulcer on top of the roiling mass President Obama’s already lugging around. The exchange:

Reporter: ”What do you think about the situation in Oregon, that standoff there?”

Kasich: “What? I haven’t heard about it.”

Reporter: “Where people took over federal land?”

Kasich: “No, I haven’t heard about this. When did this come out?”

Reporter: “Yesterday.”

Kasich: “Yeah, I am not familiar with it. OK. I’ve got to get out of here.”

Solid. Four hours later, the same reporter got a brusque email from Kasich’s campaign manager, saying the governor was “aware of the issue” and that there had been an “error in staff briefing.”

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The upshot here is either that John Kasich sleeps very well, or that running for president is like living in an amniotic sac made of glossy photos of oneself while people sweetly mutter, “Governor, you’ve got this.”


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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Kasich in West Des Moines, Iowa, January 4, 2016. Photo via AP Images