Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Monday he has no plans to leave the Republican race anytime soon and will be looking to his home state of Ohio as a “reset” in just a few weeks.
Kasich won second place in New Hampshire three weeks ago, but has fallen behind Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in contests since then. The New York Times reported Saturday that Republican leaders have been urging Kasich to get out of the race, as part of a last-ditch effort to stop Trump.
“Nobody’s pressuring me to get out of the race and frankly, we’ve got some elections coming up,” Kasich told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.” “Marco Rubio is trailing in Florida by 17 points. You know what, why aren’t they telling him to get out and get behind me? I have a better chance of winning in Ohio than he does in Florida. I mean this is nonsense.”
Kasich said Monday he has no hope of winning any states Tuesday, but is counting on Ohio, which votes March 15, to act as a “reset” and help propel him to victory in later contests like Pennsylvania and Illinois.
“The key is Ohio, Ohio is a reset,” Kasich said. “Everybody said ‘You put all your eggs in your New Hampshire basket.’ I did, but I’m still standing here. I’m the last governor. We’re down to four or five when most people thought I wouldn’t get here.”
Speaking later to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Kasich pledged to not emulate candidates like Rubio and Trump, who have begun a spirited round of name calling. Rubio has recently begun high-profile of Trump’s physical appearance.
“I would rather not win than lower the bar,” he said, recalling a recent conversation with a voter who he convinced to support him. “If I had said to him, let me tell you about his hands or his hair or whatever, the guy would’ve just blown me off.”