DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have entertained the idea of forming a unity presidential ticket to run for the White House in 2020, a source involved the discussions said Friday.
Under this scenario, Hickenlooper, a Democrat, and Kasich, a Republican, would run as independents, with Kasich at the top of the ticket, said the source, who cautioned it has only been casually talked about.
“The idea of a joint ticket has been discussed, but not at an organizational or planning level,” said the source, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity.
“What they are trying to show the country is that honorable people can disagree, but you can still problem solve together. It happens in businesses and it happens in families. Why can’t it happen in Washington?”
News of the discussions was first reported by Axios.
But on Aug. 8, when asked if he would consider running with Kasich, Hickenlooper shot down the idea.
“That’s really not in the cards,” Hickenlooper said. “We’re a two-party system and that kind of a campaign generally distracts … I mean it’s symbolic and I can understand the point of that.
“But I don’t think it’s in the cards. It’s fun to talk about, but it’s not in the cards. I think (Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez) would kill me if I did something like that.”
Hickenlooper posted about the idea on Twitter again on Friday.
In early August, Hickenlooper didn’t lend much credence to rumblings of a unity ticket, telling Politico: “I don’t think Kasich would ever do that. … I don’t think it’s in the cards. But I do like the idea of working with him in some context at some point.”
Hickenlooper was considered to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016 but was ultimately passed over for Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
Hickenlooper’s second term as governor ends in early 2019. He is term limited and cannot run in 2018.
Hickenlooper and Kasich are working together on major policy issues such as health care and immigration — a rare, bipartisan alliance at a time of deep seeded acrimony between the two political parties.
The next steps for the governors will be more policy than politically focused.
“Watch on the policy front as they expand beyond health care and also include other governors into the coalition,” the source said.