WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ohio’s Republican governor, John Kasich, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, have discussed the idea of a joint run for the White House in 2020, Axios and CNN reported on Friday.
Citing an unidentified source, CNN said the discussions were not at an organizational level for a bid, which would challenge Republican President Donald Trump’s expected re-election campaign and complicate Democratic efforts to regain the White House.
“What they are trying to show the country is that honorable people can disagree, but you can still problem solve together,” it quoted the source as saying.
Kasich, who was among more than a dozen Republican candidates to be defeated by Trump in last year’s presidential primary campaign, would top the ticket, according to CNN and Axios online news outlet.
Kasich adviser John Weaver told Reuters the two governors “have an outstanding working relationship” and had “done a great job” showing how two people from different parties can work together.
“That model can work on other issues,” said Weaver, who did not say the reports were inaccurate.
Trump, a real estate developer and former reality television star who has an approval rating below 40 percent after seven months in office, has held a series of re-election campaign events.
Earlier this month Vice President Mike Pence denied a New York Times report that he is preparing for a 2020 presidential run, saying the suggestion was “disgraceful and offensive.”
A spokeswoman for Hickenlooper did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hickenlooper and Kasich are working on a proposal to stabilize the health insurance markets, and Axios said they plan to extend their joint platform to include immigration and job creation.
Kasich, whose state opted to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, has criticized some of the so-far unsuccessful Republican efforts to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, passed under Democratic President Barack Obama.
He said in an interview with National Public Radio aired this week that the possibility of national single-payer health coverage is not part of his discussions with Hickenlooper.
Their jobs plan “will focus on the coming displacement from automation, with prescriptions that include trade, workforce training — and an optimistic and hopeful message, balanced with an honest admission that some jobs just aren’t coming back,” Axios said.
(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham and Steve Holland; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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