The deal was announced Sunday. On Monday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich seemed to renege on it.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Mr. Kasich’s campaigns’ announced on Sunday they agreed to team up in an effort to thwart businessman Donald Trump from getting the GOP presidential nomination, with Mr. Cruz targeting Indiana and Mr. Kasich Oregon and New Mexico.
But Monday, Mr. Kasich said those in Indiana should vote for him, if they wanted.
“I’ve never told ‘em not to vote for me,” Mr. Kasich told reporters at a retail stop in Philadelphia, according to The Washington Post. “They ought to vote for me. But I’m not over there campaigning and spending resources.”
But that’s not how Mr. Kasich’s own team was defining the Cruz deal.
“Kasich is asking his supporters in Indiana to vote for Cruz so Trump does not win Indiana,” Mr. Kasich’s co-chair in Indiana, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard Cruz, told the Indianapolis Star.
Mr. Cruz seemed to have a different understanding of the deal.
“It is big news today that John Kasich has decided to pull out of Indiana to give us a head-to-head contest with Donald Trump,” Mr. Cruz told reporters Monday in Indiana. “That is good for the men and women of Indiana — it’s good for the country to have a clear and direct choice.”
Mr. Kasich has a history of not being a team player. Before the Florida and Ohio primaries, Mitt Romney suggested backers of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio should cast their ballot for Mr. Kasich in Ohio, and Mr. Kasich’s voters in Florida for Mr. Rubio, in order to stop Mr. Trump.
Alex Conant, Mr. Rubio’s spokesman, went on national television at the time, urging Rubio supporters in Ohio to vote for Mr. Kasich.
Mr. Kasich didn’t return the favor. He went on to win Ohio and Mr. Rubio lost Florida and subsequently dropped out of the race.
Mr. Kasich’s campaign seems to understand he needs Mr. Cruz to win Indiana to thwart Mr. Trump’s momentum and deny him the 1,237 delegates Mr. Trump needs to win the nomination outright.
Mr. Kasich? Not so much. The deal may already be doomed.