DURHAM, N.H. – Former two-term Ohio Gov. John Kasich, back in New Hampshire for the first time in the year, mostly – but not entirely – closed the door Thursday on a primary challenge against President Trump.
Kasich, who finished second to Trump in the 2016 New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, said during an event at the University of New Hampshire that he won’t file to place his name on the first-in-the-nation presidential primary ballot.
“What it looks like for me at this point and time is, there is no path. We’re only eight days away from the filing deadline here and I don’t intend to file because I don’t see a path,” Kasich emphasized during a book-tour stop in the Granite State.
Kasich has noted for months he didn’t see a clear path to a primary victory.
Still, the very vocal Trump critic didn’t totally shut to door to running in 2020, saying he didn’t know what the future would bring.
“There might be a path that I stumble across sometime soon,” Kasich noted. “I don’t know what will happen in this election cycle.”
He also didn’t rule out a 2024 run, noting, “I don’t know what will happen in this election cycle. I know this – in the next election cycle I will be younger than the three leading candidates that are running for president today in the Democratic Party, so that’s always a possibility.”
Kasich never endorsed Trump, even after the real estate mogul clinched the presidential nomination. Kasich also skipped the 2016 Republican nominating convention, which was held in his home state of Ohio.
Fox News noted that Kasich didn’t entirely close the door to running, possibly after the primaries, while he spoke with reporters after his event.
“If a group of people were to say, ‘Hey, look, we have a problem here, could you get in,’ or whatever, it’s not inconceivable that something like that could happen. But, I’m not sitting around worrying about that or betting on it,” he said.
“I’m not just willing to say that there isn’t going to be some way in which I could do this again. I don’t know, but for now, I don’t see it.”
Kasich’s stop in New Hampshire came hours after Vice President Pence was also in the state, filing to place Trump’s name on the presidential primary ballot.
Three long-shot Republicans have been challenging the president in the primary: Bill Weld, a former Massachusetts governor; Mark Sanford, a former South Carolina governor and congressman; and Joe Walsh, a former Illinois congressman turned conservative radio talk show host.