Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Tuesday that calls for him to clear the way for Marco Rubio are nonsensical.
A story in Politico quotes Rubio supporters urging Kasich to drop out of the race, believing his exit would coalesce establishment support around Rubio.
Kasich says Rubio supporters have the situation backwards.
“I would hope they would be clearing the decks for me,” he said. “I’ve spent the least amount of money and am rising in the polls. I can win my home state. Why would I clear the decks for them? They ought to be consolidating around me.”
Kasich guaranteed a win in the Ohio primary on March 15, despite a poll released Tuesday that showed him trailing Donald Trump in Kasich's own home state.
“Everybody is getting slaughtered in their state and we’re within the margin of error,” he said. “We’re going to win Ohio, there’s no question about it. … The last thing I worry about is how we’re going to do in Ohio. We’re going to win Ohio.”
Just after Kasich left the campaign event at the Georgia House and Senate, his chief adviser John Weaver circulated a memo detailing why the candidate isn’t going anywhere. Here’s a passage:
General Election Match-up: Lost amid the media-driven narrative is the fact that Governor Kasich is the candidate best positioned to defeat Hillary Clinton in November. Make no mistake, Hillary Clinton will be the Democrats’ nominee. Polling and common-sense dictate that Kasich is the candidate who can win. In the most recent national matchup he leads Secretary Clinton by 11 points, which would translate into an electoral landslide. He has a unique appeal to swing voters in industrial states and has unique ability to expand the map by competing in Northeastern states where the GOP has struggled in recent Presidential elections.
At a town hall meeting in Kennesaw, Ga., Kasich seemed more blasé about his political future, saying that he’ll serve a purpose no matter what – even if it’s at his daughter’s school.
“I’ve already won. When I have newspapers across the country saying this is a guy who can pull it together, when I have Democrats saying this is a guy I could support like Reagan, when I come to an event at Kennesaw State, man it’s icing on the cake,” he said, adding: “I’m the last governor standing. I think I’ve done pretty well.”
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