During Wednesday’s GOP town hall on Fox News, moderator Megyn Kelly asked Ohio Governor John Kasich if he is “stealing” voters from other candidates.
Pro-Marco Rubio allies in the Republican establishment have been pressuring Ohio Governor John Kasich to drop out of the race so Rubio can have a clear shot at defeating Donald Trump. And Kelly amplified their efforts when she said that “a lot of Republicans” are concerned that he is stealing votes.
“I’m not trying to give you hard time about your candidacy, I’m just raising the concerns that a lot of Republicans have because they see you, even though they like you… [they think] you are stealing votes from candidates who could actually win,” she said.
Kasich said he wasn’t sure who those Republicans were and insisted his campaign is “holding our own.” On the campaign trail, Kasich has said that he does the best against Hillary Clinton in national polls and gives anti-Trump Republicans the best chance to beat Trump.
Politico reported this week that “the Republican establishment has a message for John Kasich: get out, and get out of Marco Rubio’s way. A string of elected officials, GOP insiders and prominent donors officially threw their support behind Rubio on Monday, calling him their last chance to take down Donald Trump.”
Former Governor Tim Pawlenty, who endorsed Rubio this week, told the outlet that he believed “if at some point John were to decide not to go forward with his campaign, Marco would be the primary beneficiary of that decision.
“It’s not for me or anyone else to say when John should stay in or get out but… John’s decision to stay in or get out could have a marked impact on the race,” he added.
Kasich’s team fired back this week after numerous polls from Florida showed Rubio trailing Trump in Rubio’s home state. Chris Schrimpf, Kasich’s communications director, Tweeted that Rubio “needs to the right thing” and “suspend his campaign” because Kasich is the only candidate who can beat Trump on March 15.