Kasich calls Michigan Democrat to discuss Flint crisis

Kasich calls Michigan Democrat to discuss Flint crisis
© Greg Nash

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich talked with Rep. Dan Kildee on Wednesday to discuss possible solutions to the water crisis in Flint, Mich., the Michigan Democrat said Thursday. 

“He just wanted to have a better understanding of what I thought the solution needed to look like, and I encouraged him to speak up and be helpful,” said Kildee, a Flint native who represents the city in the House.

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The discussion comes before a GOP presidential debate in Detroit on Thursday night and next week's GOP presidential primary in Michigan. 

Kasich, the governor of neighboring Ohio, secured the endorsements of both Detroit newspapers this week, but he’s polling in last place in the state, according to a Detroit Free Press poll released Thursday.

Kildee said Kasich is the only Republican presidential candidate to have called him to discuss Flint. He said he hopes the matter will come up during Thursday night’s debate. 

“It would send quite a message if the Republicans are in Michigan debating a few days before their primary and Flint doesn’t play some role in the debate, so we’ll see,” he said. 

Kildee, who has been pushing for a congressional aid package for Flint and Environmental Protection Agency policy changes after the water crisis there, has endorsed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary Manafort sought to hurt Clinton 2016 campaign efforts in key states: NYT MORE in her race for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

But Kildee said Thursday he isn’t trying to make Flint a political issue   

“Honestly anybody who is willing to stand up and say Flint deserves help, I’m going to consider them an ally no matter what they’re going for,” he said. 

“We’ll take that kind of help from anyone, and I’ll celebrate any candidate, anybody at all, who wants to come to Flint," he added. "[Rapper] Snoop Dogg came to Flint, and I was happy he came.”