WASHINGTON — Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich does not recognize his political party in the age of Trump, he told NBC's "Meet the Press" in an exclusive interview Sunday morning.
Surveying the political scene after a tight House special election in an Ohio district that's long been a Republican stronghold, Kasich framed the results as a wake-up call to Republicans ahead of November's midterm elections.
"The Republican Party has never been for protectionism. The Republican Party doesn't support a notion that families shouldn't be held together. The Republican Party never supported the notion that we should ring up debt and put our kids so much in debt by doing things that are not responsible," Kasich said.
"The Republican Party has never believed that we should walk away from our allies who have helped us keep the peace since World War II. These positions, they don't even resemble the Republican Party."
Kasich is one of the few members of his party who has refused to get on board with Trump, a decision that's made him an increasingly isolated voice as Republican voters show overwhelming support of Trump in poll after poll. But Kasich has support from those Republicans who see him as one of the few in their party still willing to push back on the president.
His relationship with Trump has raised questions as to whether Kasich is eyeing another presidential bid, possibly one to challenge the sitting president in 2020. Kasich didn't rule out the option in his interview — his stint as governor will end this year because of term limits — but remained noncommittal.
"I really don't know what I'm going to do. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't," he said.
"You cannot predict where this country's going, where the mood is going, because everyone in the country knows that it's chaotic. They know there's something wrong with our compass and they really want it fixed. So I don't really worry too much about any of this. I'm going to do my job and that's all I can do."