A member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus said Ben Carson and John Kasich need to stop putting “personal pride ahead of the interests of our country” and move aside in the presidential race.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in November, but struck an anybody-but-Trump tone on MSNBC today.
“Some of these candidates have to drop out. John Kasich and Ben Carson, they lost their campaigns back in October and November, December,” Brooks said. “They need to formalize that loss by dropping out so that those voters can go to either Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz so it will be a more competitive fight with Donald Trump.”
“It has to happen quickly because you have large number of delegates that are won or lost March 1st and immediately thereafter in the next two weeks. By the end of March, this campaign is probably over with one way or the other. And the longer and longer that Ben Carson and John Kasich put their personal pride ahead of the interests of our country, the longer and longer, you’re going to see Donald Trump continue to have success with 27 percent of the vote or 35 something percent of the vote.”
The congressman said the Nevada caucus may have been an “outlier” because it’s gambling state that went for a casino tycoon.
“He made a fortune taking advantage of people with his gambling casinos. That plays well in Nevada, but that doesn’t play well in a lot of other states and I think you’ll see a much closer fight in other states, but Donald Trump will still come ahead with 25 to 35 percent of the vote in those other states if you have five candidates running,” Brooks continued.
Brooks added that the challenge is taking voters’ anger and trying to “channel that anger away from something that will ultimately be destructive to their goals to something that is constructive.”
“I can promise that a very large number of Donald Trump voters, 12 to 18 months from now, they’re going to regret their votes for Donald Tump,” he said.
But Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who has endorsed Kasich, said the Ohio governor “is having great crowds showing up at his town hall meetings… and they are growing every day.”
“And I think it’s just people are looking for somebody who’s talking about the issues, and to the extent they’re criticizing other candidates, it’s criticizing the democrats. There is plenty to criticize about Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. And that’s what Kasich is focused on,” Portman told Fox Business Network.
“So, I think, you know, he has more than just an itch,” the senator added. “He has a lot of Republican primary voters who are looking for that kind of more positive campaign.”
Carson told CNN on Tuesday that “hopefully, what we will start doing now that the number of candidates is smaller, is actually look at the issues, actually talk about the solutions, and not make it a personality contest.”
“You know, it’s like the ancient Romans in the Colosseum,” Carson said. “Everybody wants to go and see the blood and the gore. Nobody is paying attention to the fact that Rome is burning.”