Ohio Gov. John Kasich, host of this summer’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, said he could “absolutely” wind up not endorsing Donald Trump for president before the convention begins on July 18.
Kasich told Fox News in an interview that aired Thursday that Trump’s recent comments about the ethnic background of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who ruled against him in the Trump University case, are “just terrible” and it is a part of the reason he is withholding his support of his onetime presidential rival.
“Right now, the divisiveness, the division, the name calling, it just doesn’t go down well with me,” Kasich said.
About reports that Trump is considering his former primary rival who has yet to endorse him to be his running mate, Kasich said the billionaire mogul hasn’t discussed that with him.
But he was emphatic that he wouldn’t consider running with Trump.
“There was never a chance of that. Not even a consideration,” Kasich said.
But Trump’s temperament is not the only reason he is unwilling to back Trump, Kasich said.
The Ohio governor also objected to some of Trump’s policy positions for being insufficiently conservative.
“Are you kidding me? Of course we have to deal with entitlements. We have to modernize them,” he said. “We do have to balance budgets and you can’t do it out of waste, fraud, and abuse. We need to shrink the government. We need conservative principles beyond the whole issue of the divisiveness.”
When asked by Fox News’ Bill Hemmer if he thinks Trump has these qualities, Kasich said, “Right now, it’s not looking good.”
However, Kasich said that there is still time for Trump to win him over.
“I am giving him a chance,” he said.
Kasich dropped out of the presidential race in early May after Trump won the Indiana primary.
Before Kasich dropped out, Trump had started calling him “1 for 38 Kasich” as a way to highlight the fact that the Ohio governor was only able to win his home state during the primary season.
Kasich was critical of Trump’s tone and his policy proposals during the campaign, comparing his record in the House and as a governor with Trump’s bombastic statements that, Kasich said, would ensure Hillary Clinton’s victory in November.