Ohio Gov. John Kasich fired back at Donald Trump for asserting that Kasich’s recent alliance with Sen. Ted Cruz is a “horrible act of desperation.”
During a campaign stop at a Philadelphia diner Monday, a reporter asked the long-shot Republican presidential candidate whether his pact with Cruz was desperate.
“Me? No, I’m not desperate, are you?” Kasich asked. “Are you desperate? Cause I’m not.”
Late Sunday evening, Kasich and Cruz announced an agreement to cede upcoming primary states to each other in order to consolidate anti-Trump support. With virtually no shot at capturing the nomination outright, Cruz and Kasich are both attempting to deny Trump the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in July.
Trump quickly responded in the wee hours of Monday morning, painting the two Republican presidential rivals as party insiders attempting to “collude” to block Trump.
“When two candidates who have no path to victory get together to stop a candidate who is expanding the party by millions of voters (all of whom will drop out if I am not in the race), it is yet another example of everything that is wrong in Washington and our political system,” Trump said in a statement.
Kasich attempted to downplay his pact with Cruz during his Monday campaign stop.
“I don’t see this as any big deal. I’m not going to spend resources in Indiana. He’s not going to spend them in other places. So what? What’s the big deal?” Kasich said.
Asked about how his supporters in Indiana should vote, Kasich suggested they should still vote for him.
“I’ve never told them not to vote for me. They ought to vote for me. But I’m not over there campaigning and spending resources,” Kasich said.
Though Kasich testily pushed back against reporters asking whether the strategy was attempting to subvert the will of voters, the governor paused to emphasise his positive disposition.
“But it’s fun, though. You’re all still here,” Kasich said, laughing. “By the way, I’m having the time of my life.”