"Congratulations to Gov. Kasich and his team on the dumbest decision (so far)"

The Ohio governor has yet to officially declare for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. But he has begun assembling a political operation in preparation to run, including the signing of veteran GOP consultants Fred Davis and John Weaver. That could hurt Kasich in South Carolina, host of the third nominating contest and first in the GOP-dominated South, because both Davis and Weaver worked to unseat Gov. Nikki Haley in 2014.

“Congratulations to Gov. Kasich and his team on the dumbest decision (so far) of the South Carolina primary season,” said a senior Palmetto State Republican, who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly. “Gov. Haley’s allies have their knives out for anyone linked to Fred Davis and John Weaver. If you primary an early presidential primary state’s governor, there’s steep price.”…

“The signal other campaigns will send out about these hires is John Kasich hired the guys who tried to help Vincent Sheheen beat Nikki Haley,” a GOP operative said. Sheheen, Haley’s Democratic challenger last year, received a late endorsement from Ervin in their race, and many Republicans contend they were allies all along.