Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich said Thursday that he won’t endorse Donald Trump, the party’s presumptive nominee for president, “at this time”.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Kasich is the latest in a number of Republicans, including Lindsey Graham, who have come out in opposition to Trump’s nomination for the presidency.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) June 16, 2016
In an interview with host John Scarborough, Kasich talked about his concerns over a Hillary Clinton presidency, but the focus was the presumptive Republican nominee.
As reported by Time, not only did the Ohio governor say that he won’t endorse Trump, effectively rejecting a personal request by Donald Trump, but he added that he may not even attend the Republican National Convention set to take place in Cleveland.
“I think it’s very unlikely, and I won’t be involved in it,” Kasich said. “I’m not going there to disrupt… I’m not interested in being a spoiler.”
Stepping up his criticisms of Trump, Kasich both mentioned specific incidents and adding that it was “not just one thing” and that “the list is getting bigger”.
Of mention, as noted by the Repository, were Trump’s comments about Muslims throughout his campaign, which include calls to ban followers of Islam from the United States as well as the recent suggestion that President Barack Obama is sympathetic to an act of terrorism.
“I mean, those are outrageous things,” said the governor, “you can either look at people’s problems, and unite them and give them hope, or you can look at people’s problems, polarize them, and get them to double down on negativity.”
At one point in the interview, Kasich, responding to Scarborough’s question on how Trump’s popularity “happened,” called out the role of the media in boosting Trump’s image.
“The media gave him $2 billion dollars worth of free press.” Kasich said, “I could have a press conference and have an empty podium with Trump speaking there, [the media] have a lot of responsibility for this, you know it, too.”
Kasich further suggested that coverage of Trump was better for network ratings.
“$2 billion dollars of free press, [the media] couldn’t get enough of him.”
As Alternet reports, Kasich is the latest in a line of Republicans who have refused to endorse Trump, or tepidly backed him.
Originally reluctant, Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI) offered Trump his support in light of statements that he himself called “racist.”
Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois was among the first Republicans to withhold their endorsement of Donald Trump, citing the interview in which Trump challenged the ability of a federal judge to do his job on condition of this Mexican heritage as part of the reasoning. He recently doubled down on that position in a radio interview on Chicago’s WLS-AM 890, covered by Politico, calling Trump “too bigoted and racist” to be president.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 7, 2016
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, another high-profile Republican and former Presidential candidate, recently divulged in an interview with CNN his intention to support neither Clinton nor Trump in the upcoming election.
“I don’t believe that Donald Trump has the temperament and judgment to be commander in chief. I think Donald Trump is going to places where very few people have gone and I’m not going with him.”
Adding to the list of high-profile Republicans, neither former candidate Jeb Bush nor former President George W. Bush have offered their endorsement to Donald Trump for the GOP nomination, making it clear that neither will endorse Trump or a Democrat in the upcoming election.
As Alternet goes on to note, Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, has not only refused to endorse Trump but has been very open in his criticism of Trump’s campaign.
“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.”
[Photo by Matt Rourke/AP Images]