In a speech to Republican women in Manhattan on Tuesday, Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) will recast his campaign as the party's only way out of a "path to darkness."
"We have heard proposals to create a religious test for immigration, to target neighborhoods for surveillance, impose draconian tariffs which would crush trade and destroy American jobs," Kasich will say, according to a prepared text of his proposed remarks provided to The Washington Post. "We have heard proposals to drop out of NATO, abandon Europe to Russia, possibly use nuclear weapons in Europe, end our defense partnerships in Asia, and tell our Middle East allies that they have to go it alone. We have been offered hollow promises to impose a value-added tax, balance budgets through simple and whimsical cuts in 'fraud, waste and abuse.'"
Without naming Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) or Donald Trump, Kasich plans to indict them both. The "target neighborhoods" and "value-added tax" ideas are Cruz's; the rest, more famously, are Trump's. Kasich, who has campaigned more in New York than either of his rivals, is seeking to capitalize on donor unease about Cruz by discrediting him as a Trump alternative, and making an "open convention" palatable.
Kasich's speech, neatly divided between his own proposals and the Trump/Cruz criticism, is harder on Trump. "The response for some is to retreat into the past — to yearn for 'the way things used to be,'" he will say. "To these people, today’s America is only seen as a broken place, and the people who did the breaking are 'the other': people with more money — or less money, people with different-sounding last names, or different religious beliefs, or different colored skin or lifestyles or — whatever."
In the same speech, Kasich will pledge again to avoid "the low road to the White House." He has hinted at harsher attacks on his rivals before, telling reporters on the day of the Ohio primary -- which he won -- that he would have something to say soon about Trump's misogyny.
There's no talk of that in this draft of the speech, which was framed early on as an address on "the state of the race."