INDIANAPOLIS -- Ohio Gov. John Kasich will suspend his Indiana campaign – while Sen. Ted Cruz does the same in New Mexico and Oregon – in a bid to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the Republican nominee for president.
The campaigns for both candidates announced their decisions Sunday night.
In a press availability on Monday, Kasich called the decision "Not a big deal."
— #IndyThisWeek (@IndyThisWeek) April 25, 2016
In a written statement, Kasich's chief strategist John Weaver said the Ohio governor's campaign was setting its sights on winning a brokered convention this summer.
The statement reads:
“Donald Trump doesn’t have the support of a majority of Republicans – not even close, but he currently does have almost half the delegates because he’s benefited from the existing primary system. Due to the fact that the Indiana primary is winner-take-all statewide and by congressional district, keeping Trump from winning a plurality in Indiana is critical to keeping him under 1237 bound delegates before Cleveland. We are very comfortable with our delegate position in Indiana already, and given the current dynamics of the primary there, we will shift our campaign’s resources West and give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana."
Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe released a similar statement Sunday night.
Roe's statement reads:
"Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans. Not only would Trump get blown out by Clinton or Sanders, but having him as our nominee would set the party back a generation. To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead. In other states holding their elections for the remainder of the primary season, our campaign will continue to compete vigorously to win.”
Trump fired back on Monday, calling the Cruz-Kasich partnership "political collusion."
"If you collude in business, or if you collude in the stock market, they put you in jail," Trump said. "But in politics, because it's a rigged system, because it's a corrupt enterprise, in politics you're allowed to collude. So they colluded, and, actually, I was happy, because it shows how weak they are. It shows how pathetic they are."
Kasich was supposed to make a stop in Noblesville for a town hall on Tuesday. As of Sunday night, that event had been removed from his campaign website.
Cruz and Democrat Hillary Clinton were still expected to make their scheduled appearances in Indiana this week. See more about those scheduled appearances below:
Monday, April 25
10:30 a.m. – Borden, Indiana
Huber's Plantation Hall
19816 Huber Road
Borden, IN 472016
Monday, April 25
6:30 p.m. – Franklin, Indiana
Johnson County Fairgrounds
250 Fairground Street
Franklin, IN 46131
Tour of Munster Steel Co.
WHEN: Tuesday, 1:45 PM CT
WHERE: Munster Steel located at 1501 Huehn Street, Hammond, IN 46327
Visit to AM General Plant
WHEN: Tuesday, 5:45 PM ET
WHERE: AM General Plant located at 12900 McKinley Highway in Mishawaka, IN 46545
Former President Bill Clinton was also scheduled to be in Indianapolis on Tuesday discussing his wife's plans to raise incomes and "break down the barriers that are holding Hoosier families back."
Indianapolis Organizing Event with President Bill Clinton
?WHEN: Tuesday, April 26 at 11:30am
?WHERE: Hillary for Indiana Office located at 7235 N. Keystone Avenue
Doors Open: 10:45am
Public RSVP Here
Tuesday, April 26
6:00 p.m. – Indianapolis
Indiana State Fairgrounds
No upcoming Indiana visits.