Outgoing Ohio Governor and Never Trumper John Kasich conceded on Wednesday that he will not be able to defeat President Donald Trump in a 2020 Republican presidential primary.
“I don’t get into things that I don’t think I can win,” Kasich reportedly told the Columbus Metropolitan Club luncheon, according to cleveland.com. “And I think right now, today, inside the Republican Party, I can’t beat him [Trump] in a primary.”
Kasich, whom Trump defeated in 2016 and who never endorsed Trump’s presidential candidacy, has been making trips to New Hampshire and getting booked on Sunday morning news shows to embrace the chattering class’s speculation about a potential primary challenge.
Anti-Trump Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger and media elites have been urging Kasich to primary Trump, repeatedly trying their best to hype up Kasich and his visits to early voting states like New Hampshire.
After Trump said last week that he would welcome a 2020 primary challenge from a Never Trump candidate like Kasich, Kasich strategist and spokesperson John Weaver responded: “Be careful what you wish for.”
At Wednesday’s luncheon, Kasich reportedly “indicated he could change his mind if the political winds change,” saying, “We’ll see.”
Kasich also reportedly “again brought up the prospect of running for president as a independent” but also “noted that such candidates usually don’t win.”