Today Governor John Kasich hedged on his armistice deal with Senator Ted Cruz not 24 hours after the pact was announced.
Yesterday the two campaigns announced an agreement whereby Kasich would not contend against Cruz in the key GOP primary in Indiana, while Cruz would leave Kasich alone in Oregon and New Mexico. The goal was to prevent a first round ballot nomination for Donald Trump.
Today, when pressed by reports about the deal, Kasich seems to back away from it, refusing to encourage his supporters in Indiana to vote for Cruz. In fact, Kasich encouraged them for still vote for himself.
“I’ve never told them not to vote for me,” insisted Kasich. “They should vote for me.”
Moreover, Kasich contended that the deal was more about a scant war chest.
“I said I think it’s fair because, you know, in some places we haven’t spent a lot of resources,” he continued. “I didn’t spend resources in the state of Wisconsin. Minor amount of spending. I don’t have, you know, like Daddy Warbucks behind me giving me all this money. I have to be careful about my resources.”
The assertion came despite consensus opinions that a vote for Kasich in Indiana only helps Donald Trump.
The deal came about after the Never Trump movement called on Kasich to back off in Indiana. They were frustrated that Governor John Kasich was hindering their efforts to deny Indiana delegates to Trump.
Katie Packer, a veteran of Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign and the executive director for the anti-Trump group Our Principles PAC, said “There’s nothing we see that indicates that Kasich has real opportunities to pick up delegates [in Indiana],” she said. “I don’t really know what their campaign’s objectives [in Indiana] are…but for our purposes – no.”
“Don’t understand Kasich logic of competing in Indiana,” former Romney strategist Stuart Stevens had tweeted. “He can’t win but can help Trump, greatly reducing any convention option. Why?”
The logic still applies. Our conclusion? Either Kasich is an idiot (possible) or he is double-dealing.
Kasich agreed to the deal only under intense pressure from the moneyed Never Trump folks. He’s hedging to preserve his options.
Plan A: His quixotic campaign for the White House.
Plan B: Despite his denials, Kasich will settle for Vice-President. Donald Trump’s Vice-President, that is.