By Randy Ludlow

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed a contract to appear as a senior political commentator on CNN.

The Republican's first appearance under the cable TV news contract will come tonight on "Cuomo Prime Time."

Kasich had said he was likely to land a TV deal after leaving office. He now will appear regularly on shows featuring CNN hosts Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo.

The former presidential candidate has been in demand on cable TV and network news shows for his opposition to the demeanor and policies of President Donald Trump.

"He's going to be using the platform to continue a discussion of the issues of the day in a positive matter," said John Weaver, Kasich's political strategist. "How that applies on a day-to-day basis is based on the issues."

Kasich was the last man standing to Trump in the GOP primaries in 2016 and famously refused to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland at which Trump was nominated. Kasich also refused to vote for Trump, instead casting his ballot for the late John McCain.

Brad Parscale, manger of Trump's 2020 re-election campaign, welcomed Kasich to his TV gig by describing him as an "original swamp creature." Trump frequently attacks CNN as "fake news."

Prior to running for governor, Kasich, a former nine-term congressman and House Budget Committee chairman, hosted a weekly show, "Heartland with John Kasich," on Fox News for seven years.

Kasich also signed a deal with a talent agency to help him land paid appearances and speeches.

Kasich would have to give up his TV deal if he decides to make a third run for the presidency in 2020, Weaver said.

"All the options are on the table and we're not going to change what we are saying today or tomorrow," he added.

Kasich recently said he could not defeat Trump in the Republican primaries, but added, "We'll see. That's today."

He left the governor's office after eight years early Monday as Republican Mike DeWine became Ohio's CEO.

(c)2019 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)