- Screenshot/Fox News
John Kasich told Fox News host Bill Hemmer on Thursday it’s “hard to say” whether he will endorse Donald Trump ahead of this summer’s GOP convention in Cleveland.
The Ohio governor said it’s “absolutely” possible he will attend the July convention, which is hosted in his state, and not endorse the presumptive Republican nominee.
“You know, if you look at Twitter, there’s this thing called trending,’ Kasich said, adding that Trump’s candidacy is “trending poorly.”
The ex-2016 presidential hopeful, who was the final Republican candidate to drop out of the race when he quit early last month, said he had a recent phone call with Trump to discuss whether the governor would endorse.
“Mr. Trump called me and he said, ‘You know, what are you going to do to support me?'” Kasich said. “I said, ‘We’re like two companies, you know? We have a different vision, a different value system, and a different objective.’ So it’s pretty hard to put that together. But right now, the divisiveness, the division, the name-calling, it just doesn’t go down well with me.”
Earlier this week, Kasich called out Trump on Twitter for his latest firestorm: His attacks against a federal judge centered on the judge’s Mexican heritage.
“Attacking judges based on their race &/or religion is another tactic that divides our country,” he tweeted Monday morning. “More importantly, it is flat out wrong.”
- AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
The brash billionaire has recently lambasted US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who he has accused of being unfair in presiding over a Trump University case because Curiel is of Mexican descent.
Curiel was born and raised in Indiana. But that has mattered little to Trump, who has said Curiel’s heritage should keep him from presiding over the lawsuit against Trump University.
“Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage,” Trump said during a recent interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I’m building a wall, OK? I’m building a wall. I am going to do very well with the Hispanics, the Mexicans.”
Kasich called on Trump to apologize.
Trump backed away from the attacks slightly in a Tuesday statement after a wave of Republicans condemned the attacks, but has not admitted to any wrongdoing.
“He’s trending the wrong way with me,” Kasich told Fox News Thursday. “Look at what just happened with this judge. Here’s a guy born in Indiana and this guy says that he’s biased, or if he was a Muslim, he’s biased. I mean, that’s not good stuff, Bill.”
Kasich also said the attack on Curiel is “terrible, it’s just terrible.”
“Look, I think the country needs a leader who can unify,” he said. “A country needs a leader who can inspire confidence in everyone and make everybody feel like they’re special.”
“The fact of the matter is, is that, the qualities we need in a leader is very important to me,” he later added. “This is not a game for me. Look, I can’t go for dividing, name-calling, or somebody that doesn’t really represent conservative principles.”
- REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Kasich said it’s “absolutely” possible that he will walk into the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland for next month’s GOP convention without endorsing the New York businessman, but he’s still keeping the door open to supporting Trump.
“Look, I’ve been this way since I was in politics,” he said. “I kind of call them the way I see them and never more than today does the country need to be unified. Do we need to stop all the fighting? Do we need to realize that we’re Americans before we’re Republicans and Democrats? So, you know, it’s a matter of who I think or what I think we need in order to get this country moving in the right direction. I’m not going to endorse Hillary Clinton, that’s for sure.”
“It’s not on me as to how Donald Trump does in Ohio. It’s on him,” he added. “It’s on him how he does in the country, and you know, if you’re going to insult Hispanics, if you’re going to turn off minorities, if you’re going to, you know, have a reckless suggestion on foreign policy, that’s not good. So why would I feel compelled to support somebody whose positions I kind of fundamentally disagree with?”
But Kasich said he’s “giving him a chance” because “he can change.”