John Kasich’s State Party Shuts Down Trump Ground Game as Trump Campaign Cuts Ties


The Donald Trump campaign has renounced the state Republican Party chairman in Ohio, and the Kasich-friendly chairman appears to be retaliating.

Breitbart News has learned that the Ohio GOP’s State Central Committee has issued a stand-down order on campaigning for Trump in at least two major counties.

Party chairman Matt Borges gave an interview to the Cleveland Plain Dealer called, “The Donald Trump whisperer,” in which Borges claimed that he’s been talking to Trump since the Billy Bush Access Hollywood scandal. Here’s the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Wednesday:

Borges had just hung up with Trump when reached the chairman by telephone Wednesday morning. He shared details of their three discussions since Sunday.

What did they talk about Wednesday?

“I told him we have a path to carry Ohio, so let’s just stick together,” Borges said.

“He said, ‘OK, I love ya.'”

But that wasn’t true, and in fact it was some kind of head fake to Trump, Ohio tea party activist Tom Zawistowski told Breitbart News.

“The entire State Central Committee was handpicked by Kasich and Borges,” Zawistowski said, referring to Borges as John Kasich’s right-hand man, or consigliere.

“Fox News had Borges on, on, like, Thursday afternoon, asking him, ‘What did Trump tell you after the tape came out!’ The guy is a bald faced liar! He always has been,” Zawistowski said of Borges. “He wasn’t talking to Trump. We’ve been dealing with him ever since he won in a rigged election.”

Zawistowski said that state party operatives are “spying” on the Trump campaign through the new shared Trump-Pence Victory Centers.

The Trump campaign has had enough.

Trump’s Ohio campaign chief Bob Paduchik wrote a letter to the state party on Trump-Pence stationery cutting off all ties with Borges and accusing him of trying to get elected chairman of the Republican National Committee while sandbagging Trump:

“The Trump-Pence slate of electors was unanimously approved by the Ohio GOP State Central Committee on September 9th and it has been disappointing that Chairman Matt Borges cannot support that decision,” Paduchik wrote.

“This past week Chairman Borges conducted a self-promotional media tour with state and national outlets to criticize our party’s nominee. I have no idea what game he was playing. Some Ohio Republicans have described it as disgraceful, I find it utterly bizarre.”

“I spoke with Mr. Trump on Thursday and he is very disappointed in Matt’s duplicity. Mr. Trump told me, “this is why people have lost faith in the establishment and party leaders.”

“It’s no great secret that Chairman Borges was never fully on board, but his actions over the last week demonstrate that his loyalties to Governor John Kasich’s failed Presidential campaign eclipse his responsibility as Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.”

“For the record, Chairman Borges has routinely exaggerated his relationship with the candidate and the campaign. Chairman Borges does not represent or speak for the candidate and he no longer has any affiliation with the Trump-Pence campaign.”

Paduchik vowed to fight on with the help of county party chairs operating below the state party level.

Activist Zawistowski told Breitbart News that the state party is shutting down Trump campaigning in Lucas County, Ohio.

“At the Lucas County Victory Center for Trump,” Zawistowski said. “They’re literally telling people, don’t take Trump materials with you when you go out door to door.”

“The guy is literally a thug,” Zawistowski says of Borges.

Breitbart News has obtained an emergency alert sent out by Trump activist Rebecca Clutter in Medina County, where the Kasich establishment is also shutting down the Trump force:

ZERO Trump lit is going out at the ORP scheduled “walks” in Medina, Brunswick and Wadsworth.  This is at the direction of our female State Central Committee person (Sharon Ray).  Almost exclusively, the Trump door knocks are being done by 15 ladies from Medina County Women for Trump.

We (Medina Co Women for Trump) are literally knocking on EVERY door one township at a time.  There are 17 townships, we nearly have 9 of those and several smaller villages completed.  As soon as we complete our designated townships we will be picking up the remaining townships.  We are on track to have EVERY Door canvassed before the general election with over 1/2 of those completed prior to the start of early voting.

We managed to get an all call out to county central committee people to canvass their own precincts, especially in the 3 cities, however many of those folks are backers of the State Central Committee person and will likely NOT be distributing Trump lit or knocking on doors.

The state party did not immediately return a request for comment for this report.

Trump seized control of the Ohio ground game from Kasich last month. Breitbart News reported:

Trump’s victory over Kasich was cemented Tuesday when the Ohio Republican Party blasted out a press release announcing that the Trump-Pence ticket had opened 32 new “Victory Centers” in the state, and the centers are to be controlled by Trump-Pence. That’s significant because Ohio’s “Victory Centers,” which volunteers and staffers operate out of, used to be controlled by the state party. For a long time even after Trump became the presumptive nominee, those Victory Centers were getting out the vote for Senate candidate Rob Portman but not for Trump.

In mid-August, shortly after activists caught some state party officials trying to get signatures to help Libertarian Gary Johnson, the game changed. Breitbart News received a tip that the headquarters for all of the state’s Victory Centers would be moved out of a state party office and into a new office in Columbus paid for by the Trump campaign.

The move was facilitated by the RNC after a sit-down meeting between Trump and Reince Priebus in which Trump negotiated for operational control of existing Ohio victory centers.


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