Ohio Governor John Kasich is calling it quits, according to two CNN sources very close to the campaign. After Cruz’s announcement on Tuesday, Kasich said that he had “too much to fight for; the soul of the GOP and the future of America.”
On Tuesday night, Kasich’s campaign manager sent out a fundraising email reiterating that Kasich planned to stay in the race:
Sen. Ted Cruz just dropped out of the presidential race and it’s up to us to stop Trump and unify our party in time to defeat Hillary Clinton,” Kasich campaign manager Ben Hansen said in a fundraising email to supporters Tuesday night.
As late as Wednesday morning Kasich’s senior outside adviser held a conference call with donors, illustrating their game plan to continue on to the Republican convention in July.
According to the sources, Kasich’s decision came within the last few hours as he was scheduled to leave Columbus, Ohio on Wednesday to attend a fundraiser in the Washington D.C. area.
It’s being reported that Kasich had a change of heart as the plane was departing the airport, ordering the pilot to taxi the plane back from the runway. A source said Kasich called four of his closest friends, and told them, “My heart is not in this.” The source said that his friends agreed that if Kasich did felt his heart was no longer in the campaign that he should do what he feels he needs to do.
Kasich made a name for himself as being the most positive-toned GOP candidate in the presidential field, attracting many moderate conservatives within the party. However, after only winning his home state of Ohio in March and finishing second in only two states, it became clear that the voters did not share the governor’s vision.
If this report holds up, Kasich is expected to make his announcement later this afternoon.
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