John Kasich Joins Chorus of Republicans Refusing to Support Donald Trump
Ohio Gov. John Kasich Thursday said “at this point” he’s unable to back Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, adding he may not participate in the Republican National Convention in July.
"I know I'm going to have some of my own events outside," Kasich told MSNBC’s Morning Joe, "As to what I'm going to do there, I'm not quite sure yet.”
Kasich added that despite people contacting him to run as a third-party candidate or as Trump’s running mate, “the answer is no.”
"I'm not going [to the RNC] to disrupt,” Kasich insisted. “I gave it my best, I didn't win, I have no regrets about the way I conducted myself, and I'm not interested in being a spoiler.”
Pressed about the pledge he took last year to support the party’s nominee, Kasich said the GOP’s election of Trump is “painful.”
“People even get divorces, you know?” Kasich said, “Sometimes things come about that, look, 'I'm sorry this has happened, but we'll see where it ends up.' I'm not making any final decision yet, but at this point I just can't do it.”
Kasich is far from the only Republican to refuse to support Donald Trump in November. While some, including House speaker Paul Ryan, eventually offered tepid support of the candidate, there are still a handful of party members continuing to hold out their support of Trump.
Former Republican candidate Jeb Bush, who’s political dynasty father George H.W. Bush and brother George W. Bush have both abstained from commenting on the current race, also said he would not support the nominee or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. He noted he also won’t attend the Republican National Convention.
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, one of the most vocal opponents of Trump, said speaking out against Trump is the only way he “can sleep at night.”
“I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world,” Romney said.
Former South Dakota Senator Larry Pressler released a statement following Sunday’s massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando saying he was supporting Clinton due in large part to her stance on gun control. “We need to go the route of more gun control as a result of Orlando and all the other shootings that have occurred,” Pressler said. “But it’s almost as though Republicans are saying gun control shouldn’t be part of the conversation at all."
“I can’t believe I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, but I am,” Pressler told the Hill. “This morning, I woke up and told my wife, ‘Did I really do that? But I did.”
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who penned a detailed Facebook post explaining why he refuses to support Trump, has been staving off suggestions by establishment Republicans that he should run as a third-party candidate. Sasse he supports neither Clinton nor Trump for president.
Last week, Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk became the first Republican to revoke support for Trump, issuing a statement reading, in part, “I cannot and will not support my party’s nominee for President regardless of the political impact on my candidacy or the Republican Party.” He’d previously told CNN he’d support the businessman if he became the party nominee, but cited Trump’s racist attacks against a sitting federal judge and the multitude of other derogatory statements the candidate has made as evidence Trump is not fit to be president.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake also joined the chorus of Republicans condemning Trump for his attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, telling MSNBC’s Morning Joe he could not endorse the candidate. "It’s uncomfortable not having endorsed the Republican nominee, I have to say,” Flake said. “But I can’t at this point. I hope to be able to support the nominee. I certainly can't right now.”