Donald Trump is unleashing scathing attacks on GOP presidential rival Ohio Gov. John Kasich just two days ahead of the state’s crucial primary.
In the week leading up to Tuesday’s Ohio primary election, where the winner will take home all of the state’s 66 delegates, Trump has significantly upped his criticism of Kasich.
Trump trashed Kasich for supporting the North American Free Trade Agreement while serving in Congress in the 1990s, questioned his strength as a leader, and called him an “absentee governor.”
“Kasich is a baby,” Trump said Saturday during an Ohio rally. “He can’t be president.”
“Wait a minute, we all like Golf Channel, too. But you’re running for president and the only thing he’s watching is Golf Channel? He’s not going to do the job,” Trump said Sunday at an Ohio campaign rally.
With just over 48 hours before the next series of Republican primary voters head to the polls, most polls showed Kasich with a slight lead. An NBC News/Marist survey released on Sunday found Kasich with a six-point lead over Trump.
But Kasich also needs to win his home state in order to stay in the race, as he has openly admitted. The governor did well in the New Hampshire and Vermont primaries, but has lagged behind his rivals in most of the other contests.
Trump is campaigning hard in Ohio, where the delegates could put him significantly closer to lock up the 1,237 needed to guarantee the party’s nomination. On Sunday, Trump postponed a Monday-night event in Florida, scheduling a “massive” rally in Youngstown, Ohio, instead.
For his part, Kasich has somewhat raised the temperature on Trump. For example, Kasich criticised the violence at Trump’s rallies and refused to answer whether he would endorse Trump if he becomes the Republican presidential nominee.
“Donald Trump has created a toxic environment,” Kasich said Saturday. “And a toxic environment has allowed his supporters and those who sometimes seek confrontation to come together in violence. There is no place for this. There is no place for a national leader to prey on the fears of people who live in our great country.”
If Trump wins victories in Ohio and Florida on Tuesday, even the frontrunner’s critics have said that the race could be effectively over.
An aide to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is polling low in the Buckeye State, took the unusual step of suggesting that the senator’s supporters should support Kasich in Ohio deprive Trump of the delegates needed to win the nomination.
In turn, Rubio is hoping that supporters of Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz, will strategically vote for Rubio in Florida.
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