A "divider" like GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump will have a hard time winning Ohio, an important battleground that could help decide the election in November, said Buckeye State Gov. John Kasich, a former Republican presidential candidate.
"Ohio's a snapshot of the country. People in Ohio want to see a positive agenda, a positive way to move forward," Kasich said Friday in an interview at the Union League of Philadelphia. He attended a fund-raiser for Brian Fitzpatrick, a Bucks County Republican running for an open congressional seat.
Kasich's remarks came a day after Trump accepted the Republican Party's nomination at its convention in Cleveland. Kasich, who dropped out of the presidential primary campaign in May after Trump effectively clinched the nomination, did not attend the convention.
"Without an endorsement, I thought it would be inappropriate for me to go in there and make some kind of a talk," Kasich said.
By contrast, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who also unsuccessfully challenged for the nomination, gave a highly controversial prime-time speech Wednesday night at the convention in which he declined to endorse Trump. Cruz was booed off the stage but praised by some in the GOP for taking what they described as a principled stand.
Kasich, a second-term governor, said he watched Trump's acceptance speech but did not want to analyze it. "My position is, I'd like to see Donald become a unifier and positive. We just have some fundamental disagreements," he said, chuckling, "including a few areas: trade, immigration, foreign policy."
Kasich said he would not actively campaign against Trump. "I don't want to do that; that's not my interest," he said. "And we'll see what happens in the future. But right now, there's just too many differences."
Asked for whom he would vote, Kasich said, "There will be no way that I'm going to vote for Hillary Clinton. As for what I do in the end, I don't know."
Some have speculated that Kasich did not want to associate with Trump in part because the governor may run for president again in 2020.
"Undertaking a presidential campaign and beginning to understand all the false promises, and all that other stuff, that's not something that you look forward to," Kasich said. "I don't know what I'm going to do. Would I say definitely that I wouldn't? No. Would I say that I would? I have no clue."
Told of reports that the Trump campaign had asked Kasich to be the vice presidential nominee, with the understanding that he could be the most powerful vice president in U.S. history, the governor laughed and demurred.
"There were conversations between some of my advisers and some Trump people," he said. "That was then, and we're moving on. I can't tell you exactly what happened."
Trump chose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate. The Trump campaign has denied making Kasich the reported offer.
Kasich said he planned to campaign for Republican U.S. senators up for reelection, such as John McCain of Arizona and Mark Kirk of Illinois.
"I'm going to do this all over the country, both for Senate and House members, whenever they want me," Kasich said.