Kasich in Cleveland, But Not the RNC

Paul Manafort chairs the Trump campaign. [photo: Michelle Faust/ ideastream]
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by Michelle Faust

The Republican National Convention is underway in Cleveland and now Donald Trump’s rock path to the GOP nomination is putting a lot of focus on Republican leaders who aren’t at the convention this week. 

The Trump campaign’s chairman expressed irritation Monday over Ohio Governor John Kasich’s absence.

Governor John Kasich is working in Cleveland all this week close to one of the biggest events in the history of the city. Where the governor is not, is at the RNC Convention Hall in the Q .

“We think it is a difficult situation when the home state governor doesn't participate in the convention process, and we asked him to participate and he made a decision not to,” says Paul Manafort—chairman for the Trump campaign—who called the governor’s absence is an embarrassment.

Kasich, who dropped out of the race against Trump in May, recently told WCPN he had unresolved concerns with the presumptive nominee.

“What I'm concerned about is dividing people. I don't like attacks on the basis of religion. Although I support although changes in trade. I'm basically a person that believes that trade is good for the world,” Kasich told ideastream in a recent interview.

Despite the governor’s concerns, Manafort says the Republican Party is united and the RNC is the place for that unity.

Not all Republicans agree with Manafort. In the southwest corner of the state, Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou says Manafort is wrong in his criticism of Kasich.

The governor, Triantafilou says, "has always been his own man, whether it was in expanding Medicaid or working for Senate Bill 5. When it comes to Trump, he's clearly not feeling it. I am supporting Trump myself, but I wouldn't criticize the governor for what he is doing."

Kasich is not the only GOP heavy weight not coming to the RNC—neither will either former president Bush.

Manafort says while he would have like to have had the Bushes at the RNC, in many ways they represent the past—not the future—of the GOP.

“We feel, however, the healing time is happening and when we leave here by and large it's going to be a united Republican Party,” says Manafort.

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