Election 2020

Kasich Camp: Trump Won't Be Nominee 'If the Never Trump Forces Get Serious'

Donald Trump speaks during a New York primary night campaign event on April 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

The Republican National Committee lauded Tuesday night’s primary results in a statement that skirted the party’s own internal strife and focused squarely on Hillary Clinton.

With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton had 57.9 percent of the vote in New York to 42.1 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Donald Trump had 60.5 percent of the vote followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 25.1 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at 14.5 percent.

As voters in New York went to the polls, Sanders, Cruz and Kasich had already moved on to campaign events in Pennsylvania.

“With record numbers of voters viewing Hillary Clinton unfavorably, New York Democrats moved their least electable candidate a little closer to the finish line,” RNC chairman Reince Priebus declared. “Whether it’s her refusal to release the transcripts of her paid Wall Street speeches, her secret email server that’s triggered an ongoing FBI investigation, or her flip flops on issue after issue, Hillary Clinton has shown herself unwilling to be open and honest with the American people. Too much is at stake in this country to turn it over to someone as dishonest and unethical as she is.”

Priebus added that “voters are looking for a new direction after eight years of failure from President Obama, but the paths Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are offering would only drive our country further into the ditch.”

“We can’t afford four more years of stagnant wages, mounting debt, and a lead-from-behind foreign policy,” he said. “Only a Republican president will get America back on track by strengthening our economy and restoring America’s leadership role in the world.”

That was the conclusion of the RNC’s reaction, while the Democratic National Committee rushed out a fundraising email featuring a U.S. map peppered with Trump faces.

“Donald Trump just won New York, and he’s closer than ever to securing the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States,” said the DNC pitch for donations. “Which means his dangerous policy proposals — from mass deportations and banning Muslims from entering the country to punishing women for seeking abortions — are one step closer to becoming a reality.”

The Kasich campaign, which walked away with three delegates from N.Y., released a memo stressing that the Never Trump effort needs to up its game.

“Gov. Kasich proved that he is best positioned against Donald Trump in the upcoming April 26 states. Ted Cruz’s brand of politics simply won’t play with most voters in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland,” argued chief strategist John Weaver. “A vote for Cruz in these states is a vote for Trump. And a vote for Cruz or Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton in November because neither of them can win a general election.”

Trump “will not be the nominee,” Weaver predicted, “if the Never Trump forces get serious.”

“They weren’t serious in New York and allowed Trump to get over 50 percent in numerous districts where he could have been stopped. Continued lack of engagement by Never Trumpers could allow the Trump campaign to get back on track,” he wrote. “Donald Trump’s only chance is on the first ballot. After that, a number of his delegates will move to us on the second ballot.”

“The next 7 days are absolutely critical and every Republican in the country who wants an open convention and to win the White House should rally around Gov. Kasich in the upcoming April 26 states,” Weaver added. “It’s now or never to stop Trump and save the Republican Party.”

Cruz called for unity around his campaign while comparing himself to Sanders.

“This is the year of the outsider. I am an outsider, Bernie Sanders is an outsider,” he said. “Both with the same diagnosis, but both with very different paths to healing. Millions of Americans have chosen one of these outsiders. Our campaigns don’t find our fuel in bundlers and special interests, but rather directly from the people. The wide-eyed youth of any age that haven’t given up on the hope that tomorrow can and will be better. Ronald Reagan and Jack Kennedy were outsiders. They both represented a whole new vision and vibrancy. A new generation of ideas.”

“The question is not whether all Americans can or will agree on a majority of issues all of the time,” Cruz added. “The question is whether a majority of Americans are hungry to rally around a set of principles larger than any single issue that a politician may use to divide us.”