Those seconds come in the segment from last night’s debate that you see in the YouTube video below, where Kasich answers the question asked of each of the four surviving candidates: will you support the Republican nominee, no matter what? I.e., even if it’s Donald Trump?
The preceding 24 hours of political history had been extraordinary, as the remnants of the GOP establishment turned in revulsion against Trump. A bunch of foreign-policy eminences, ranging from hawks and neocon hardliners to members of the “realist” camp, put out a statement of “united opposition to a Donald Trump presidency.” The party’s immediately previous nominee, Mitt Romney, who in normal times would still be at least the honorific leader of his side, blasted Trump as a “fraud” and “phony” in a powerful speech yesterday morning. Then in the evening, the first hour-and-a-half-plus of the debate consisted of arguments from Kasich, Cruz, and Rubio about the outrageousness, unacceptability, phoniness, and clownishness of Trump and what he represents.
Leading up to this moment. Watch—and weep for Kasich’s missed chance.
(The clip is cued to start with Kasich’s answer, at time 1:40. The whole clip shows you how Cruz, Rubio, and Trump himself dealt with the question.)
John Kasich’s fundamental argument for staying in the campaign boils down to: I’m the sane one. I’m the one with a heart. I’m the one who cares about the actual machinery of legislation. I’m the one who can get something done. The chance to show that he really meant it came with the question, to which he could have said something like: