The super PAC supporting Kasich, New Day for America, will spend the millions against Trump in New Hampshire, a state where Trump holds a stubborn double-digit lead and where Kasich has focused his campaign. The salvo began earlier Thursday when the Kasich group began to air a spot portraying Trump as ill fit to be commander in chief
The Kasich group's buy is the most aggressive yet to counter Trump's positioning in the Granite State and elicited a tough response from the GOP front-runner in the form of a dozen tweets -- one of which included a threat to sue over the ads.
"I want to do negative ads on John Kasich, but he is so irrelevant to the race that I don't want to waste my money," read one of Trump's tweets.
"Watch Kasich squirm --- if he is not truthful in his negative ads I will sue him just for fun!" read another.
And another: "I loved beating John Kasich in the debates, but it was easy—he came in dead last!"
Kasich soon followed with a torrent of anti-Trump tweets, most of which centered on foreign policy.
"Trump: "We made a terrible mistake getting involved there..." 10/6 "I've never said we made a mistake going into Afghanistan" @CNN 10/20," one tweet read.
".@realDonaldTrump thinks fighting OBL in Afghanistan was a mistake, oh wait, he flip-flopped..." he tweeted, linking to a CNN article in which Trump said the war was not a mistake
For months, more mainstream Republicans have looked warily at Trump's rise but could not marshal the resources for negative television spots. Earlier this fall, the Club for Growth, an influential conservative super PAC, attacked Trump
over his past comments on economic policy, spending $1 million in Iowa that the group claimed helped deflate his numbers there.
But the Kasich group's buy, which was first reported by Politico
, is the most aggressive yet to counter Trump's standing in New Hampshire. The Ohio governor's campaign cannot legally coordinate with the super PAC, which is staffed by his allies.
Kasich's super PAC has been one of the more effective outside groups this cycle, with a large buy in New Hampshire earlier this year triggering a rapid, if short-lived, rise in polls there.
On Wednesday, a WBUR poll of likely Republican voters in New Hampshire
found Trump well ahead of the GOP pack with 22% support, while Kasich was tied for fourth at 7%. A Fox News poll
released the same day found Trump on top in the state with 27% compared to Kasich's 7%.