Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich encouraged Indiana residents to vote for him on Monday, even after his and and Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) campaigns announced that they were aligning to bring down rival Donald Trump.
The campaigns said in statements released late Sunday that Cruz would focus on winning Indiana while Kasich would prioritize winning in Oregon and New Mexico. Kasich later told reporters at a diner in Philadelphia that the new alliance doesn’t mean people in Indiana shouldn’t vote for him.
“I’ve never told them not to vote for me, they ought to vote for me,” Kasich said. “But I’m not over there campaigning and spending resources. We have limited resources.”
John Weaver, a consultant for Kasich, added to the discussion on Twitter:
We’re not telling voters who to vote for in IN, only where we are going to spend resources to ultimately defeat Hillary. They get it.
— John Weaver (@JWGOP) April 25, 2016
The Ohio governor suggested that he was running a “people’s campaign” because he had been outspent on the trail so far. He told reporters that his campaign had more momentum than they gave him credit for, pointing out there were too many people to fit in the diner he was visiting.
He then declared that everybody needed to “chill out.”
“I’m not campaigning in Indiana and he’s not campaigning in these other states. That’s all. That’s all it is,” Kasich said, referring to Cruz. “It’s not a big deal.”
Kasich said he was “having the time” of his life and then ended the discussion to eat some eggs.
Kasich’s comment contradicts advice that Jim Brainard, co-chair of his campaign in Indiana, told the Indianapolis Star in a report published Monday.
“Kasich is asking his supporters in Indiana to vote for Cruz so Trump does not win Indiana, and Cruz will do the same,” Brainard told the newspaper.