Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) blasted President Donald Trump's inauguration speech Tuesday on Politico's "Off Message" podcast.
"It was a very unusual speech. And it wasn't helpful for the country, and you know, I don't know. It just wasn't good," said Kasich, who ran against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.
The Ohio Republican said he would continue to focus on the Republican message.
"I have a right to try to define Republicanism and conservatism as much as everybody else and, you know, I think there's a little struggle right now, and I think the party doesn't quite know where it's going."
"The American carnage stops right here and stops right now . . . from this moment on, it's going to be America first," Trump said in his inaugural speech. The address drew criticism, including columnist George Will calling it the "most dreadful inaugural address in history."
Kasich is on tour with his book, "Two Paths: America Divided or United." He insisted that the book is not about him running for president again, Politico reported.
"I do want to maintain some sense of a political operation. But am I going to run? I mean, if my wife was listening to this, I would have to say no. But look, you never know when duty calls . . . so we'll see," Kasich said.
He said he would not help out any Republican who seeks to echo Trump's rhetoric or style. "Any politician who is going to be in the dividing business, I'm not helping," Kasich said.
However, Kasich said the fact that he ran for president makes him feel confident, regardless of the fact that he did not win.
"Maybe in the process of doing it, you win. And I don't feel like a loser. I feel like a winner," he said.
In his book, the governor blames a downturn in spirituality as a reason that Trump got elected.
"I saw Trump's reckless entreaties as a weakening of our shared American values—even more so, a coarsening of our shared American values," Kasich wrote.
"The growing secularization of this country has—it's like losing your compass when you're lost in the woods," Kasich said on the podcast.
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