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Donald Trump on Sunday called for Ohio Gov. John Kasich to drop out of the presidential race, arguing that his lackluster performance in the race means he has no shot at the nomination and is only hurting his own chances at locking it up.
“Kasich shouldn’t be allowed to continue and the RNC shouldn’t allow him to continue,” Trump said of Kasich during a campaign stop at a diner in Milwaukee.
Trump said he made that very pitch during his meeting with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus this past week.
“I mentioned it to the RNC. I said, why is a guy allowed to run? All he’s doing is he goes from place to place and loses and he keeps running.”
Trump noted that the rest of the field dropped out of the race after performing poorly, and that Kasich had only won one of 29 primaries — his home state of Ohio, “where he’s the governor and where he has the machine working,” and where, Trump said, “if I spent one more day in Ohio I would’ve beaten him.”
Kasich has persisted in the race despite badly trailing Trump and Cruz in both primaries won and the delegate count because he and his backers believe the governor could win the nomination in the case of a brokered convention, where no candidate wins a majority of party delegates and the nomination is decided in multiple rounds of voting.
He said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that he was preparing for an “open convention” and that delegates would end up choosing him because of his experience in elected office.
"That's why I think I'm going to be the nominee,” he said.
And even Priebus said, in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, that “it’s not impossible” that Republicans will end up with a contested convention.
Trump said even with that rationale, Kasich should still drop out of the race because he’s siphoning his votes away.
“If he wants to go and have his name put in nomination in the convention he can do that. He doesn’t have to run and take my votes, because he’s taking my votes,” Trump said.
Kasich responded in a tweet pledging to stay in the race until a candidate wins the delegate race outright.
“That's not how our republic works, Donald. We'll keep fighting until someone reaches a majority of delegates,” he tweeted.