“I will be speaking at the #DNC Convention because I believe that America needs to go in a different direction,” Kasich tweeted on Monday.
Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a frequent Trump critic, will be among the speakers supporting Joe Biden for president at the all-virtual Democratic National Convention, slated for Aug. 17-20.
“I will be speaking at the #DNC Convention because I believe that America needs to go in a different direction. I’ve searched my conscience and I believe the best way forward is for change – to bring unity where there has been division. And to bring about a healing in America,” Kasich tweeted Monday.
A moderate Republican, Kasich did not back Donald Trump’s presidential bid in 2016, but said he felt compelled to take a more vocal stance this time around against the president’s bid for re-election, and urged other Republican leaders to join him.
“The reason I didn’t support Trump last time is I was afraid he would be a divider and not a unifier,” he told CNN. “I believe we need a new direction. We just can’t keep going the way that we’re going.”
Kasich will join former First Lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders as speakers the first night of the convention in a show of bipartisan unity, sources told CNN. The widely loved Obama is a pop culture icon, Sanders appeals to the left, and Kasich will be a draw for conservatives opposed to Trump, organizers say.
Trump, meanwhile, has not expanded appeal beyond his most loyal supporters, and some GOP advisors believe the president has lost the suburbs and their more educated white demographic completely.
Elizabeth Warren, Vice Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris, and Barack and Michelle Obama will also address DNC viewers. Politico reported that the time constraints—only two hours of programming each night, down from six plus hours in previous election years—means several high-profile Democrats were cut from the roster.
Convention organizers also plan to feature “individuals from all walks of life, political affiliations and every corner of the country who support Joe Biden’s vision to lead us out of Trump’s chaos and crises”—including a farmer in Pennsylvania, a paramedic on the frontlines of the pandemic, and an auto worker at a General Motors assembly plant in Michigan.
Here are more details about the schedule thus far, with speakers addressing the convention every night between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, Convention Chairman and Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and former First Lady Michelle Obama
Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, former Secretary of State John Kerry, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, former President Bill Clinton, and former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, and former President Barack Obama
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, the Biden family, and presumptive Democrative presidential nominee Joe Biden