Detroit (CNN)Ohio Gov. John Kasich, lagging in delegates and focusing his entire campaign on winning his home state on March 15, said Thursday he doesn't subscribe to Mitt Romney's idea that voters should back the strongest candidate in each state in order to stop Donald Trump.
Kasich doesn't endorse Romney's 'Block Trump' delegate approach ...yet
Romney, during his scathing remarks about Trump earlier Thursday, suggested that in order to stop Trump, voters should pick the strongest candidate in each state, prolonging the contest and blocking Trump's path to the requisite delegates needed to secure the nomination -- in essence, forcing a brokered convention. Kasich, who guaranteed he would win Ohio to reporters at a news conference, said that his supporters in Florida should vote for him, not Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
"Well, right now I think they ought to vote for me," Kasich said.
At least for the time being.
"We'll see where this goes as we move closer," Kasich continued. "I think that it is important that we stop Mr. Trump. He is not my pick for president. I want to have a more positive approach to the solutions of the country. Let's see where things go down the road here. Let's put it this way -- I'm going to spend a lot of time in Ohio and I'll bet Mr. Rubio is going to spend a lot of time in Florida."
That comment actually marked the strongest statement Kasich has made on halting Trump's rise up this point in the campaign -- a campaign where Kasich has gone to great pains to keep from criticizing the Republican front-runner. He again denounced personal attacks of Trump on Thursday and said he had personally spoken to Romney by phone and warned him against such an approach.
"I already told Mitt that I don't think you beat Trump by personal attacks, Kasich told reporters. "I just don't want to talk about the size of his hands or what kind of a tan he has. That's not the way to get things done."
Despite a tweet from Kasich's official Twitter account that stated "Well said, @MittRomney" and was signed "-John," implying it was from the candidate, Kasich said he hadn't actually watched the remarks and reiterated his position that "you don't beat Trump by personal attacks."
"I think the notion that you can beat Trump by calling him names, I don't think you get there that way," Kasich said. "I'm not going that way and I'm not using that kind of rhetoric."
While he plans to campaign in Michigan until the state's March 8 primary, lagging poll numbers there have only served to increase his reliance on a big home-state showing.
"As you all know I don't make predictions, but I'll make a prediction. I'm going to win Ohio. Plain and simple."