Former Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), who describes himself as a conservative Republican, said he will make the case for a Joe Biden presidency at the Democratic National Convention. “
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: An unexpected phase to take part in the Democratic National Convention and it will certainly anger some on the right. Former Ohio governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate John Kasich to speak in support of Joe Biden possibly on the same night as Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama.
Governor Kasich is a CNN senior commentator and he joins me now. Governor, good evening to you. Thank you so much.
JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: You've been critical of President Trump since the very beginning. And you've even supported his impeachment. But going with a Democratic candidate for president is a whole different ball game. How did you get to this point?
KASICH: Conscience, Don. You know, you and I have done a lot of shows together. And you know at the end I hope you know this, that I try to follow my conscience in terms of what seems right to me. And you know, I didn't support Trump the last time because I was on the debate stage with him, I watched him. And I was afraid he was going to be a divider not a unifier. Somebody that would go out of his way to be critical of people and the other party or didn't think the way he did.
And unfortunately, it turned out to be right. So, I look around and I say now what? We can't continue to go down this path. It's -- I mean, people are now speaking to each other if they disagree with them with through clenched teeth. There's almost hatred going on.
This has to stop because the great things that happened in our country whatever they are, women suffered, civil rights, they happen when we come together not when we're divided.
So I felt that Joe Biden would be a unifier and he would stop this division and we could get back to, you know, sort of a civil conversation, it could be arguments, it could be strong but at the end of the day, I think that he will include people, not exclude them and stop the name calling.
LEMON: OK. So, listen, I just got back from vacation. I only have so much bandwidth. But just, 2016, I know that you did not support Trump. Did you support -- did you vote or support -- you don't have to tell me voted for because I think that's your personal thing.
KASICH: No, I voted for -- I wrote in John --
KASICH: I wrote in John McCain.
LEMON: So that's why I was -- I didn't -- I couldn't recall exactly how you played it.
LEMON: So, this time you think it's -- it is just more of a pro-Biden or an anti-Trump vote or what? What are you saying?
KASICH: No, it's not. It's time for a switch. And I think it's fine for -- look, I'm a Republican. I'm not going to change my party. I've been a conservative Republican. But I've had enough of this. I've had enough of the division and everything else, and not getting anything done.
So, to just sit it out again and say well I'm not going to be for Trump and not lend my support to somebody, I -- it doesn't make sense for me this time around. And I actually believe, I've known Joe. I've known him for 30 years. I know the kind of guy he is.
Now I'm not going to agree with him on everything, Don. And probably he gets to be president I'll be on here with you and I'll be talking about the things that I don't agree with him on. But I think as a leader as a person that can bring us together at a time when this dysfunction, I mean, your whole show tonight is all about the dysfunction of what we're getting from the executive branch. It has to stop.
And our best days are when we work together, not when we fight and divide each other. That's where we need to go. You know, remember, a book team of rivals about Abraham Lincoln about how he invited people in his cabinet that he had fought with and didn't agree with, that's the American way, not this way. If you don't agree with me, you're out the door or I'll call you a name or whatever, that's crazy.