WASHINGTON • Ohio governor John Kasich said in an interview with CNN that he is still deeply uneasy with Mr Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, declining to endorse him and reiterating that he will not serve as the tycoon's vice-president.
Mr Kasich, who ended his own presidential campaign earlier this month, has been touted as a potential vice-president. As a popular governor and former congressman, Mr Kasich could bring the Trump establishment experience and help win a crucial swing state.
But he told CNN his political view was incompatible with Mr Trump's and he was "not inclined" to run with Mr Trump and that he had "not changed my mind".
"Those are two very inconsistent messages, so it would be very hard for me - unless he were to change all of his views and become a uniter - for me to get in the middle of this thing," Mr Kasich told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview on Monday, his first since leaving the race. "Because, you know, I'm undecided here about what I'm going to do in this race."
Mr Kasich was far more tolerant of Mr Trump on the campaign trail than other rivals, but he wondered what his daughters would say if he now came out in support of him.
"If I were to turn around today and endorse him, they'd be like, 'Why, Dad?' And that matters to me," Mr Kasich said. "We'll see what he does. He has a chance to move to the positive side and unify this country."
Mr Kasich also warned that Mr Trump is set to lose in the national election on Nov 8 should he persist with his antagonistic political posture, which has offended minorities and women. He also quashed hopes by Republican elites that he might mount a third party bid for the White House.
Mr Kasich acknowledged that he had had a phone call with "somebody" who wanted him to mount an independent bid.
"I'm not going to do that," Mr Kasich said. "I gave it my best where I am. I just think running third party doesn't feel right. I think it's not constructive. A third party candidacy would be viewed as kind of a silly thing. And I don't think it's appropriate. I just don't think it would be the right thing to do."