Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Tuesday that he doesn’t currently see a path that would lead him to defeat President Donald Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination.
Kasich, who ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican primary, told CNN’s John Berman on “Anderson Cooper 360” that he doesn’t see a path “right now,” but added, “That doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a path down the road.”
“But right now, I don’t see it,” he said.
Now a CNN senior political commentator, the former governor said his full explanation for why he doesn’t see a path is a “complicated, long answer” that can’t be laid out “in a few seconds” on television.
Kasich had previously toyed with a 2020 run. In March, he kept open the possibility of another presidential bid, telling journalist David Maraniss at South by Southwest that “I’m not closing anything down.” In December, Kasich suggested he might run against Trump in 2020 after the President said he hoped Kasich would. In a statement released by his spokesperson, John Weaver, Kasich said, “Be careful what you wish for.”
Kasich first took on Trump in July 2015, when the then-governor announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. He dropped out of the race the following year after Trump emerged as the presumptive GOP nominee, and did not endorse Trump when he left the race.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld became the first Republican to challenge Trump in the 2020 race, and over the weekend conservative radio host and former Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois said he would challenge the President too. Former Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina is also mulling a bid against Trump.
“This is America, you want to run for public office, you can do it,” Kasich said Tuesday of the 2020 Republican primary challengers.
Trump addressed his Republican challengers in a tweet Tuesday, writing, “Can you believe it? I’m at 94% approval in the Republican Party, and have Three Stooges running against me.” He added, “I should be able to take them!”