Ohio Governor John Kasich’s war with the GOP mushroomed Sunday night when one of his top advisors lashed out at Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus in an official statement. The campaign’s harsh words came on the heels of the Republican party leader appearing to threaten Kasich into endorsing Donald Trump.
Priebus said Sunday morning that Kasich, along with Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, may be blocked from seeing the GOP’s nomination in 2020. During an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, Priebus said in no uncertain terms that every Republican who ran for president in 2016 should be rallying around Donald Trump. “People who agreed to support the nominee, that took part in our process, they used tools from the RNC,” he said. “We’re a private party, we’re not a public entity. Those people need to get on board.” The RNC chair went on to say that “if they’re thinking they’re going to run again someday, I think we’re going to evaluate our process, the nomination process, and I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for them.”
“Thankfully, there are still leaders in this country who put principles before politics,” top Kasich aide John Weaver wrote. “The idea of a greater purpose beyond oneself may be alien to political party bosses like Reince Priebus, but it is at the center of everything Governor Kasich does.” Weaver also said that Priebus should be thanking Kasich for “an inclusive, conservative vision that can actually win a national election.”
The Chairman of the Ohio GOP jumped in to defend Kasich as well, tweeting that Priebus’ threats do not represent “what we are all about as a party.”