By Nick Gass
June 16, 2016
John Kasich is in agony over his decision last year to support the Republican nominee and the reality that Donald Trump is his party's presumptive nominee.
"You know, it's painful. It's painful. You know, people even get divorces, you know? I mean, sometimes, things come out that, look, I'm sorry that this has happened," the Ohio governor said in an interview aired Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "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."
Asked by host Joe Scarborough whether he would recommend to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that they "think long and hard" about their support of Trump, Kasich replied, "You know politics. They don't care what I think."
"I would say that I think Paul Ryan is definitely torn. I mean, he's also the leader of the House. There's this thing called Republican loyalty. I've been a Republican all my life, how do you think I feel about this?" Kasich asked. "I'm the Republican governor of Ohio. It's difficult."
Whether Ryan should back off his support of Trump is "up to him," Kasich said, declining to speculate on what he would do in the Wisconsin Republican's position.
"I know as governor of Ohio, with some people who pound on me, I said I'm not prepared to do it and he's going to have to change," Kasich said, about a week after telling Fox News that it is "hard to say" whether he would support Trump at next month's Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Kasich is the fourth Republican governor to declare that he will likely not support his party's presidential nominee, along with Larry Hogan in Maryland, Rick Snyder in Michigan and Charlie Baker in Massachusetts.
And while he invoked the biblical Saul to make the point that "nobody would have thought" he would change, and so might Trump, Kasich added, "But, unless it changes, you know, I'm not going to be able to get there. So, I'll watch."
Trump's proposed temporary immigration ban on Muslims is "bad" and one of many things that give him pause, the governor said.
"Well, the list is getting tall. It's getting bigger," Kasich said, as Scarborough referred to Trump's comments Tuesday night suggesting that American soldiers stole money from Iraq. (Trump's campaign has said he was referring to Iraqi soldiers.)
"Or, you imply that maybe somehow the president is sympathetic to an act of terrorism," Kasich said, in reference to Trump's remark Monday that President Barack Obama is either "not smart or he's got something else in mind" with respect to fighting terrorists. "I mean, those are outrageous things. It's trending all the wrong way."
As far as how Trump would turn that around to get support from Republicans like Kasich and Scarborough, the Ohio governor was at a loss.
"Well, I don't know," Kasich said. "We're going to have to see."
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