After winning his first primary of the 2016 race Tuesday night, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) vowed to take his campaign to the GOP convention and secure the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.
“All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart, but I want you to know something. We’re going to go all the way to Cleveland and secure the Republican nomination,” he told supporters.
After the primary in Kasich’s home state was projected in his favor, the governor first celebrated in a phone call to CNN, predicting that the momentum from a Buckeye State victory could propel him to the convention.
“I’m just so appreciative of the people of Ohio. That’s my third straight statewide win and we got one more to go,” Kasich told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “We’ll have one more to go this fall when we beat Hillary Clinton here because I’m in the best position to beat her and we’re going to get a lot of momentum. We have a lot of people now joining us who they were on the sidelines. They want to come now.”
Kasich won 66 delegates in Ohio’s winner-take-all-contest. Asked if he believed he could make it all the way to the convention if no candidate amassed the 1,237 delegates needed to win the GOP nomination outright, the Ohio governor’s response was optimistic.
“Oh, yeah, look, I may go to the convention before this is over with more delegates than anybody else,” Kasich said. “There’s 1,000 yet to pick.”
He stressed that money wouldn’t be an issue for his campaign going forward, either.
“I heard Jake Tapper saying well, he doesn’t have any money,” he told Blitzer. “I mean, tell Jake I’ll have all the money we need, okay?”
Kasich congratulated Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who suspended his campaign following disappointing results in his home state of Florida, for his efforts during his victory speech. With Rubio out of the race, only Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and frontrunner Donald Trump remain.
In both the CNN call and his victory speech, the Ohio governor sought to paint his campaign as an inclusive, positive foil to Trump’s.
“I want to remind you, again tonight, that I will not take the low road to the highest office in the land,” he said in his victory speech.
He reiterated that he was proud that his campaign has “left no one behind,” from the mentally ill to the drug addicted to the working poor.
“We want to bring the country together and not divide this country anymore,” he told CNN’s Blitzer. “That’s why this was such a big victory tonight, because what it does is it says you want to go and divide them? Okay. You came to Ohio, you threw everything you had at me, and guess what, it didn’t work.”
This post has been updated.