Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said that he has no plan to vote for Donald Trump in November, despite making a pledge to support the GOP nominee when he was running in the 2016 race.
Asked by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough if he would stick to the pledge, Kasich called his decision not to “painful.”
“I’m sorry this has happened. We’ll see where it ends up. I’m not making a final decision yet but at this point I just can’t do it,” the Ohio governor said.
Kasich, the last Republican contender remaining in the race before Trump emerged as the presumptive nominee, has heavily criticized the billionaire businessman’s rhetoric and policy proposals.
“The divisiveness, the division, the name calling it just doesn’t go down well with me,” Kasich said last week, asking Trump to apologize to a federal judge for attacking his “Mexican” heritage.
Kasich told Scarborough that he was still open to supporting Trump if he moderated his anti-minority rhetoric and pivoted towards the general election, something Trump has proven incapable of doing so far. The real estate tycoon has spent the days since the worst mass shooting in U.S. history attacking Muslim-Americans and re-upping his call for a ban on Muslim immigration, which Kasich said was a dealbreaker.
“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.
The Ohio Republican said he would campaign heavily on behalf of Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and “do everything” possible to make sure the GOP holds on to the Senate and House of Representatives.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Wednesday that he too would be withholding his vote for Trump.