Gov. John Kasich is back on the campaign trail, but not for himself. He’s been stumping for candidates for the US Senate, and Thursday he appeared with Ohio’s incumbent Sen. Rob Portman in Dayton and Columbus.
Portman has taken some heat for backing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who Kasich refuses to endorse. But Kasich said he’s confident it won’t hurt Portman’s chances this fall. “I think he’s got the best campaign in the country, and he’s going to win this thing. I have no doubt about it," Kasich said. "And I’m doing what I can in other parts of the country to help keep control of the United States Senate, but this is my highest priority.”
Kasich, who was the final candidate against Trump when he left the presidential contest in May, says he’s campaigning for Senate candidates in Colorado, New Hampshire, Texas, Florida and Georgia as well.
And Kasich also said part of the reason he supports Portman is that he’s a candidate for the future of the GOP given his stance on issues such as LGBT rights. "If the Republican Party stays stuck in the 80s – I’m not in the 80s. I live in the 21st century," Kasich said. "And he’s the senator that understands the things that needs to be done and the agendas that we need to have to move not only the Party forward, but more importantly, the country forward.”
On the topic of GOP nominee Donald Trump, Portman has endorsed him, while Kasich has refused to – and even skipped the RNC because of his concerns about Trump. Kasich says he supports Portman regardless.