The battle between Ohio Gov. John Kasich and GOP front-runner Donald Trump is heating up.
A video released online Tuesday by the Kasich campaign attacks Trump for his rhetoric against various minority groups, invoking the theme of needing to stand up for people before it’s too late. The video features retired Col. Tom Moe, a U.S. Air Force veteran and Vietnam POW, paraphrasing the famous words of late German pastor and concentration camp survivor Martin Niemoller:
“You might not care if Donald Trump says Muslims must register with their government because you’re not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says he’s going to round up all the Hispanic immigrants, because you’re not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump says it’s OK to rough up black protesters, because you’re not one. And you might not care if Donald Trump wants to suppress journalists, because you’re not one.”
Related: Trump’s turn toward racially charged fiction challenges the GOP
Throughout the video, footage of Trump plays over Moe’s voice, with headlines explaining Trump’s statements on these issues.
“You might not care about what Donald Trump says about,” Moe continues. “But think about this: if he keeps going and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you. And you better hope there’s someone left to help you.”
The comments are a take on Niemoller's "First they came for the Socialists..." poem.
Kasich has punched at Trump multiple times over the past few weeks, especially ahead of Trump’s rally Monday night in Columbus, Ohio. Ahead of Trump’s appearance, Kasich’s team hosted several conference calls with surrogates and even impromptu press conferences with veterans. Ohio GOP Chair Matt Borges was in the press pen after Trump’s speech, seemingly defending Kasich’s record against Trump’s, though Borges was not there in an official capacity for the campaign.
PHOTOS - On the Stump: Donald Trump's Presidential Campaign
Trump punched back at Kasich on Monday during his rally, making fun of the governor’s low poll numbers in contrast to his own atop the GOP pack. Then again on Tuesday, this time in South Carolina, Trump said bluntly: “We’re killing him. We’re beating the governor of Ohio in his own state.” Trump continued to mispronounce the governor’s name – “Kay-sitch” in lieu of the correct “Kay-sick” – throughout his jabs at his fellow Republican rival. The two sparred during the past two Republican debates as well, arguments that gave Trump ample ammunition with which to rile and excite his supporters.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.
Watch the video below: