President Donald Trump did nothing to solve the leadership crisis in Washington with his speech Tuesday night justifying a government shutdown over money for a border wall, says Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

"The president and the Democrats need to learn how to compromise and put the American people first. It starts with the president putting the country ahead of his politics and being more flexible with his goals,” said Kasich, who supported building a wall during his 2016 presidential campaign.

“Border security is important, but both sides should be willing to negotiate on how we do it. Our country needs real leadership to solve our problems. Right now it doesn’t look like that leadership exists in Washington, DC.”

 

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who may run for president in 2020, went to Twitter to point out several factual errors in Trump’s prime-time speech.

“President Trump is taking paychecks away from thousands of American workers and throwing families into crisis every day he refuses to reopen the government,” Brown said. “The president must end his shutdown and put Americans back to work.”

Brown noted that the Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan measure before Christmas to keep the government open, but after getting pressure from conservative commentators Trump refused to go along with the plan.

“I would say call the White House and demand @realDonaldTrump re-opens the government, but the switchboard is down due to the government shutdown,” Brown said.

Ohio’s Republican senator, Rob Portman told CNBC that Trump did a good job in his Oval Office speech.

"He was presidential, stuck to his talking points, and made a good case. I did think that neither side really showed any willingness to compromise and I think that’s what we need right now," Portman said.

He noted government shutdowns "never work. The taxpayer always ends up paying more. But I do think the border needs a lot more help right now."

Central Ohio Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty retweeted a Vox factcheck noting "President Trump says a wall would keep illegal drugs out of the US. But the majority of illegal drugs entering the US from Mexico come in through ports of entry — official border crossings. A wall would have no impact."

And she tweeted: "Despite @realDonaldTrump’s assertion of a crisis at the border, the fact is that border-crossing arrests are at historic lows. @POTUS only wants a ‘win,’ even though this core campaign promise was so soundly rebuked in the November elections."

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, said Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., " are all digging in their heels instead of looking for common ground. They need to stop prioritizing their pride over the American people and should be locked in a room until the three of them can reach a compromise.”

"It was clear tonight that President Trump is only concerned with stoking fear in the American people," Youngstown-area Rep. Tim Ryan tweeted. "In an era of advanced surveillance technologies and capabilities, a wall is laughably outdated. It’s like saying we want Model T cars, glider planes, or rotary phones back."

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, tweeted, "I am grateful to live in a nation where more people want to come in, not out. However, open or unsecure borders put the lawless ahead of those who play by the rules. Sometime between 9/11 and today, our conversation about border security got muddled. The wall, border patrol, surveillance of human trafficking routes — all of these have been recast exclusively into the context of immigration policy."

He added, "Funding for border security shouldn’t be a political point. This should be about keeping Americans safe, keeping illicit drugs out of our country, protecting families, and our precious lives."

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, said he backs Trump. "It's unfortunate that we've reached this point with a partial government shutdown but playing politics with our nation's security and the safety of the American people is very irresponsible. Therefore, I urge House and Senate Democrats to stop the political sames and get serious about securing America's southern border."

drowland@dispatch.com

@darreldrowland