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Govs. John Kasich of Ohio and John Hickenlooper of Colorado have frequently appeared side by side this summer to focus on influencing the national healthcare debate.
Now there are rumors that Kasich, a Republican, and Hickenlooper, a Democrat, could embark on a joint independent presidential bid in 2020, the news website Axios reported Friday.
The cross-party ticket would feature Kasich at the top with Hickenlooper as his running mate, according to the report.
Axios reports that the two plan to extend the platform they’ve built on healthcare to immigration and job creation. They’re also discussing with major media outlets the possibility of a podcast or cable news show, the report said.
John Weaver, a top adviser to Kasich who served as the chief strategist for the Ohio governor’s 2016 Republican presidential campaign, told Business Insider to expect to see a lot more of the pair in the coming months.
“They work very well together and will continue to lead on healthcare, immigration, and probably other key issues,” Weaver told Business Insider in an email, adding a smiley emoticon.
Kasich and Hickenlooper made their first major appearance together at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, in late June to criticize the Republican healthcare legislation that the Senate was debating. They called on both parties to come together and form a better plan while seeking more stakeholder input, such as that of US governors.
The pair also signed onto multiple letters and statements rejecting different iterations of the legislation, leading a team of bipartisan governors who were critical of the Republican healthcare plan and process before it fell apart late last month.
Earlier this month, Kasich and Hickenlooper appeared together on CBS’s “Face the Nation” to advocate bipartisan fixes to the Affordable Care Act, the law better known as Obamacare. In another joint interview, the pair said they were close to presenting their plan to help stabilize the nation’s health-insurance markets.
“We’re getting very close,” Kasich said. “I just talked to my guys today, men and women who are working on this with [Hickenlooper’s] people, and we think we’ll have some specifics here, I actually think we could have it within a week.”
Hickenlooper has tempered talk of a possible presidential ticket with Kasich, though when asked during a Politico Playbook Exchange event earlier this month, he said, “You never know.”
Days later, he said it was “not in the cards.”
“We’re a two-party system, and that kind of a campaign generally distracts,” he told a local Denver reporter. “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.”
Standing alongside Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, he joked that the DNC leader would “kill me if I did something like that,” which elicited laughs from both men.
Kasich, who has at times not been shy about opposing President Donald Trump, has hinted to reporters that he may again try to seek the presidency in 2020 either as part of an independent bid or as a Republican primary challenge to Trump.
Neither a representative for Hickenlooper nor one for Trump’s 2020 reelection effort immediately returned a request for comment from Business Insider.