Tags: US | GOP | 2016 | Kasich

Tom Ridge Moves to Endorse Kasich

Image: Tom Ridge Moves to Endorse Kasich

Monday, 22 Feb 2016 11:30 AM

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has won the endorsement of Tom Ridge, a former director of homeland security and Pennsylvania governor.

Ridge had been supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for president since early 2015 and joined him on the campaign trail in South Carolina. Bush quit the race Saturday after a disappointing finish in the Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.

Kasich's campaign says Ridge is signing on as a national co-chairman.

Ridge began supporting Bush as a GOP nominee even before the former Florida governor announced his candidacy,  telling Larry King on Ora.tv's PoliticKING last February that "what little credibility or what little traction I may have politically left after all those years, I'm pleased to send it and let Jeb Bush use it however he sees fit, and when King asked him if he was endorsing Bush, Ridge said there was "no question about it."

When King asked him to clarify whether he was endorsing Bush, Ridge said, "No question about it."

And there was likely no expectation that Ridge would switch his support from Bush to front-runner Donald Trump's outsider campaign, considering the former Homeland Security director threatened back in December that there was a "real possilility" that he wouldn't vote in the November election at all if Trump wins the nod.

"I think he is an embarrassment to the party," Ridge, who became the nation's first secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush in 2003, told Fox News' Neil Cavuto on Fox News.

"If he is the man who has the votes, then that's the way it will be." But when asked whether he would support the billionaire developer, Ridge said: "No. I can't vote for Donald Trump."

He also said he couldn't vote for Hillary Clinton, either, if it came to that, but it would be "tough for me" to vote for Trump, but he also didn't think "Trump would get the nod."

Ridge has also gone on record as saying he does not think Trump is qualified for the presidency.

"Personalities and points" are being compared "rather than the thoughtful approach these men and women would give to the extraordinary responsibilities of being president of the United States and commander in chief," he complained to MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program in December concerning the contentious race.

"I just don't think you want to put somebody in the White House who brings that mind set and use everything as a simple-minded solution," said Ridge of Trump. "You and I don't have a long enough time on this program to tell you why it's not an effective commander in chief."

However, the former governor does agree in a way on one issue with the front-runner: putting a a "pause" on refugees from the Middle East until better screening procedures can be put into place, telling "The Cat's Rountable" host John Catsimatidis that he was "just not confident they have sufficient information for law enforcement, the intelligence community, to do effective screening."

Trump has sparked controversy by calling for a moratorium on Muslim immigration. Ridge did not say members of a religion should be targeted, but told host Catsimatidis that refugees from the Middle East should be banned until better screening procedures are developed.  

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich has won the endorsement of Tom Ridge, a former director of homeland security and Pennsylvania governor.Ridge had been supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for president since early 2015 and joined him on the campaign trail in South Carolina. Bush...
US, GOP, 2016, Kasich
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2016-30-22
Monday, 22 Feb 2016 11:30 AM
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