Kasich: Trump Has Damaged GOP Brand — ‘It’s a Party Meltdown Right Now’

Monday on CNN’s “Newsroom,” the former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said he believed President Donald Trump had damaged the brand of the Republican Party to the point of a “meltdown.”

Host Kate Bolduan said, “The Republican Party is—many times you and I have talked on this topic of the party struggling to deal with Donald Trump since the beginning of this presidency, the division that he stirs up. On the virus the president now denying the facts that he’s trying to sell that it’s 99% harmless and it’s life and death. I mean, we talk about responsibility quite a bit, but what is the responsibility of elected Republicans when we talk about leadership in this country when you have a Republican leader in Donald Trump doing what he’s doing?”

Kasich said, “Because they have coddled him and they have made it easy for him to say these kind things because they operate out of a sense of fear, that if they criticize him, he’s going to go after them and somehow he’s going to cost them their election. If, in fact, Republicans as a group had come out early on, particularly starting with Charlottesville and said that this language is unacceptable, I believe he would have changed, or the party would have separated from him. But, you know, somebody was telling me at the Mt. Rushmore, one of the senators out there clapping his hands and laughing and on the one hand saying I don’t agree with Trump and kind of supporting him. I see that some of them are beginning to move away from Trump. I guarantee you, Kate, at some point in the future some of these people are going to say— once they understand that their election is imperiled by Donald Trump, they will say I’ve never supported Donald Trump.”

He continued, “So, you know, they have really encouraged it. It’s like when you have kids, right? If you don’t correct your kids, they do things far worse than if you had stopped them in the beginning. The Republican Party has been absent, largely absent, terrible.”

Kasich added, “They are damaging the brand, too, so if you’re a Republican now and you’re in a moderate district, you’ll likely lose because you’re Republican. If you’re in a solid Republican district, you’re living in fear of a primary. That’s why so many of them are leaving because they don’t want to deal with this any longer. It’s a party meltdown right now.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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