CLEVELAND (AP) — Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday dispelled any rumors that he planned to lead delegates in an anti-Donald Trump revolt during the Republican National Convention.
“I’m not interested in trying to disrupt any of the proceedings,” Kasich said after making an announcement about a $280 million bridge project outside Cleveland.
Kasich has maintained a low profile since abandoning his Republican presidential campaign in May. Kasich called the RNC “Trump’s convention” and wished him well.
The two-term governor plans to be in Cleveland during the convention that starts July 18 but said he was uncertain he would even go inside Quicken Loans Arena, where the event is being held. Kasich also said he won’t address delegates, something atypical for a governor whose home state is hosting his party’s convention.
Kasich said he will come to Cleveland on July 17 to check on security preparations and plans to leave the morning of July 21. Trump is expected to accept the GOP nomination the evening of July 21.
While not referring to Trump by name, Kasich nonetheless took a swipe at the real estate mogul, criticizing him for the incendiary comments that have become a hallmark of his campaign. Kasich’s message of unity and hope were largely drowned out by Trump’s bombast during the GOP primary season.
“What I’m concerned about is dividing people,” Kasich said Wednesday. “I don’t like attacks on the basis of religion. I basically believe that trade is good for the world and for us. I do believe we’ve got to spend time fixing our economic problems, including entitlements. But I don’t think we should be scapegoating or blaming someone else for the challenges we have.”
Kasich appeared to backpedal from a pledge that all the Republican presidential candidates made early on to support whoever won the nomination.
“You have to examine your conscience about the fact that, when you make a commitment, sometimes circumstances dramatically change and you have to reassess,” Kasich said.
Asked if he planned to vote for Trump, Kasich gave a cryptic response.
“I’ve not endorsed him,” Kasich said. “If I haven’t endorsed him, then I guess that leaves everything up in the air, doesn’t it?”
Kasich and other officials on Wednesday announced that a planned refurbishment of Ohio’s busiest bridge in the Cleveland suburb of Valley View would be moved up by two years to take advantage of lower borrowing costs.