John Kasich hints he may leave the GOP “if the party can’t be fixed.”

John Kasich Hints He May Leave the GOP “if the Party Can’t Be Fixed”

John Kasich Hints He May Leave the GOP “if the Party Can’t Be Fixed”

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Oct. 1 2017 6:52 PM

John Kasich Hints He May Leave the GOP “if the Party Can’t Be Fixed”

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Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing November 10, 2016 at the White House in Washington, D.C.

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been one of the most vocal opponents to President Donald Trump within the Republican Party. And now he is making it clear that he could be willing to leave the GOP if things keep going down the current path. “If the party can't be fixed, Jake, then I'm not going to be able to support the party,” Kasich told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. “Period. That's the end of it.”

Kasich made the comment in response to a question regarding extremist right-winger Roy Moore securing the party’s nomination for that state’s open Senate seat in Alabama. Kasich made it clear he doesn’t support the far-right Moore although he didn’t go as far as to say the party as a whole shouldn’t back him. “I don't run the party,” Kasich said. “I can tell you, for me, I don't support that. I couldn't vote for that.” When asked if Moore represents the future of the GOP, Kasich didn’t mince words: “I hope not.”

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For now, Kasich said he remains committed to reforming the party from within and insisted he wants to “fix it” on several issues, including trade, immigration, and debt. “I want this party to be straightened out,” he said.

“What I'm trying to do is struggle for the soul of the Republican Party the way that I see it,” the Ohio governor added. “And I have a right to define it, but I'm not going to support people who are dividers.” He also emphasized the Republican Party wasn’t the only one in trouble with voters, noting that “people are beginning to say, I don’t like either of them.” Kasich said that attitude “says something big” and he expressed hope that “our party leaders will pay attention to this.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.