President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are heading to Columbus, Ohio Friday for a series of charity events and fundraisers, but one familiar face will be noticeably absent.
Trump will headline the Ohio Republican Party state dinner Friday night, but Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has been at odds with the president ever since he first laid eyes on him, will not be attending.
“I don’t need to be going to that dinner,” Kasich told the press Tuesday, saying that he will instead spend time with his college-bound daughter. Kasich skipped the same dinner last year when it was announced that Vice President Mike Pence would be speaking.
Most recently, the two butted-heads over Republican Troy Balderson’s slim primary victory in his bid to lead Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, with Trump placing the blame on Kasich.
“The very unpopular Governor of Ohio (and failed presidential candidate) John Kasich hurt Troy Balderson’s recent win by tamping down enthusiasm for an otherwise great candidate. Even Kasich’s Lt. Governor lost Gov. race because of his unpopularity. Credit to Troy on the big win!” Trump tweeted.
Prior to Friday’s dinner, Trump will attend a fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Jim Renacci, who is seeking to unseat Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Trump and First Lady Melania will also make a visit to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the heart of Columbus, a city that is leading the fight against Trump’s attacks on Obamacare. On August 2, the city sued Trump and his administration, claiming they were in violation of the “take care” clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“His own actions, his own executive orders, his own words are doing everything but faithfully executing,” Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein told The Columbus Dispatch. “In fact, what he’s saying and doing is the exact opposite. He’s trying to sabotage Obamacare.”
According to the suit, Trump is failing to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” by his deliberate attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Some Democrats have expressed disgust over the Trump family’s plans to visit a children’s hospital, claiming that Obamacare allows children with pre-existing conditions and their families to qualify for health insurance, NBC4 reports.
Trump has also criticized the state’s Medicaid expansion approved by Kasich. Sen. Brown said he looks forward to Friday’s visit so that he can listen to the president “explain why he wants to cancel out Governor Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid.”
“It’s pretty disturbing when elected officials who get really good health care paid for by taxpayers, whether it’s a congressman or a president, they have spent most of their time in office trying to take health care away from families, most of whom make eight, ten, 12 dollars an hour,” Brown commented.
Some Ohioans are criticizing the hospital for even welcoming the Trumps, with a blizzard of letters-to-the-editor appearing in local news outlets, mainly The Dispatch.
“There have been many great Democratic and Republican presidents and first ladies who have visited children at local hospitals but this administration is not worthy of this privilege; all for the sake of a photo opportunity,” one frustrated resident wrote, saying she “will no longer be writing any more charitable checks to the hospital.”
Another said that he is “truly shocked and dismayed” to learn of the “so-called” president’s visit to the hospital.
“This man has torn children from their parents and failed, even under court order, to reunite the families he devasted,” Columbus resident Ronald Solove wrote. “Nationwide Children’s Hospital should have rescinded its invitation and, instead, gone about its business of caring for the most vulnerable in our city.”
Friday’s visit will mark Trump’s second trip to the swing state this month as some Republican seats are facing strong Democratic challengers for the first time in years, including Rep. Steve Chabot who is facing 35-year-old Aftab Pureval.