Kasich supporter Tom Ridge: No reason for John to drop out

Former Pennsylvania governor on battle for Republican delegates


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 4, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, now, let's say Donald Trump does not do well in Wisconsin. What does that say about similarly sort of demographically aligned states? That's a bit of a misnomer, but the states that are similar in the Republican sort of a breakdown of vote?

States like Pennsylvania come to mind. Then what does it portend there?

The former Republican governor of that state, Tom Ridge, he's supporting John Kasich for president.

Governor, Secretary, very good to have you.


CAVUTO: Donald Trump was famous for saying this guy, Kasich, should get out. He is 29-1 right now, or 1-29, I should say, and he should step out.

Obviously, Governor Kasich disagrees. I would assume you do as well. But there is an argument to be made that Kasich's only shot is trying to get to a brokered convention. Right?

RIDGE: I think you and I know what the math is. The process, the democratic process, and there no shortcuts, is the winner gets 1,237 delegate votes. And until that decision is reached by that number of people, then John is staying in the race, and, frankly, John should stay in the race.

What is kind of interesting over the past couple of days, maybe the past week or two, one, there's a lot of Trump fatigue setting in, but I think people are beginning to understand, one, John's message, but, two -- and Donald Trump loves polls. Well, I have got news Donald Trump. He does not win any single poll against Hillary Clinton and John Kasich on the head-to- head with Hillary Clinton wins them all.

So, again, to all three candidates, it's the process, there's no shortcuts.  Do what you need to do to get 1,237, but there's no reason for John Kasich to leave the race. And the notion that Donald would suggest the maybe party ought to push him out of the race, come on, Donald. There are rules.  Let's play by them.

CAVUTO: All right, one of the things he's also espoused is that -- that is Donald Trump -- I have such a big lead in delegates, I should get it. What do you make of that? You argued 1,237 is 1,237 is 1,237, the delegates you need, that close is no cigar, right?

RIDGE: Well, close is good, but it's not good enough.

One of the interesting phenomenons in this whole democratic process is you get to the convention -- and I think the mind-set, the philosophy, and the approach changes closer and closer you get to convention, particularly if nobody has got the requisite number of votes.

Suddenly, you have not only presidential concerns, but you have people, like in my state, who would be the best at the top of the ticket to help Pat Toomey? We got congressional races. You got local and other races that people are concerned about. So who would be the strongest person at the top of the ticket?

And so I think you have this mind-set changes. And if you don't get 1,237 on the first or second ballot, then I think the chemistry, the alchemy of the whole enterprise changes and people say, who is the gladiator we need to fight and prevail in November?

And I think pretty clearly, at least according to the polls, there's only one that can prevail and it's John Kasich.

CAVUTO: All right, now, that's your hope, that's your wish. The fact of the matter is that polls similarly have been wrong in the past pitting, let's say, even Ronald Reagan against Jimmy Carter. Long before and even right after the Republican Convention in 1980, he trailed Jimmy Carter by a lot.

RIDGE: Sure. Right.

CAVUTO: And then went on obviously to win.

And the argument of George Bush Sr., who later went on to be his running mate, was that this guy can't win, I can. We know how dicey that can be, hanging on those polls.

But you're right about one thing, about the negatives that is also evident in the poll shows Donald Trump is just not a likable guy to the mainstream electorate, Hillary Clinton darn near lovable by comparison, but maybe that gap could narrow as well. In other words, we're writing off Donald Trump and his general election chances prematurely. What do you say?

RIDGE: Well, it's fair comment on the polls, Neil. We both know that, having observed and been involved in political world for a long time.

But it just seems, as you take a look across the spectrum of the polls...

CAVUTO: I remember a certain Tom Ridge who was not given much of a chance when he was running for governor, right?

RIDGE: Good point.

That's why I look at polls. They're a snapshot at the moment. Remember, July in Cleveland will be a different snapshot. But I think the simple fact remains that you continue the process as it is, and, again, inside that convention hall, where you have got 2,700 men and women, these are committee people.

A lot of these are worker bees, Neil. These are folks who are going to do the phone banks. They're going to go door-to-door. And they not only went to defeat Hillary Clinton. They want to make sure their congressman gets elected. They want to make sure their senator gets elected.

So I do think it changes the mind-set and the view that they take at the time. That's why I think you keep it going. That's why I think, as our chairman said, it's got to be open. It's going to be transparent. We're not going to favor one candidate or the other and let the process play itself out.

It's absolutely important that both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz would obviously like John out of the way. Now, everybody gets to man up and go get the 1,237.

CAVUTO: Man up and get the 1,237.

Governor, always a pleasure. Thank you very, very much.

RIDGE: Thank you very much. Always a pleasure.

CAVUTO: All right.

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