Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign accused Donald Trump of playing dirty tricks in Pennsylvania by claiming that Kasich won’t appear on the primary ballot there next month.
Trump tweeted that Kasich “cannot run in the state of Pennsylvania-he cannot win the nomination- & should not be allowed to compete in Ohio on Tue.”
Kasich filed the requisite number of signatures to run in Pennsylvania, as certified by the secretary of state. Thirteen minutes after the deadline to file protest challenges to his name being on the ballot, a supporter of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) filed an objection.
“Trump is lying to Ohioans, and we are consulting with our lawyers on our next steps,” Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said today. “We are 100 percent certain that John Kasich will be on the ballot in Pennsylvania. We submitted far more signatures in Pennsylvania than we needed to submit and that was certified by the secretary of state.”
“Trump’s dishonest tweets and robocalls means his team either knows nothing about Pennsylvania election law or he’s just scared to death we’re going to beat him,” Nichols added. “Donald Trump continues to play gutter politics, America deserves better and he owes Ohioans an apology for lying to them.”
A new ARG poll released today found Kasich leading Trump 44 percent to 38 percent in Ohio, including a lead of 56 percent to 38 percent among unaffiliated voters and 51 percent to 26 percent among women.
In a Harper poll earlier this month, Trump had 36 percent in Pennsylvania, Rubio had 19 percent, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had 17 percent and Kasich had 10 percent.
In a new Mercyhurst general election poll, Kasich got 49 percent in Pennsylvania compared to 36 percent for Hillary Clinton. Clinton topped Trump in the state 43 to 35 percent.
On Sunday, Kasich told ABC that the back-and-forth over his Pennsylvania validity is “a whole bunch of political gibberish.”
“It’s amazing, people try to keep you from getting on the ballot,” he said. “But we’ll be fine. We will be competing in Pennsylvania… this will all be resolved here soon.”
Kasich filed 2,184 signatures by the deadline, with the threshold being 2,000. The Rubio supporter says all signatures aren’t valid and maintains there was no established time for the deadline by which to file challenges.
Kasich’s camp has asked Rubio to ask the supporter to drop the lawsuit. Briefs in the case were due today and on Wednesday, when Kasich is scheduled to campaign at Villanova University.
On CNN this evening, Kasich slammed Trump for “atrocious” rhetoric that has pitted people against each other and stoked combustible rallies.
Pressed on whether he would support Trump if the real-estate mogul got the nomination, the governor said: “I will have more to say about Donald Trump and the nature of his campaign as we get further down the road.”