Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Friday that, though he thinks Jeb Bush is a "really good guy, a smart guy," the presumption that Bush would secure the Republican presidential nomination is "just not happening."
Kasich, who is likely to run for the nomination, was asked on the Concord News Radio program "NH Now" about comments he made Thursday, when he said that he thought "Jeb was going to just suck all the air out of the room and it just hasn't happened."
He said that Bush's failure to emerge as the dominant candidate in the field was a reason he was considering a run himself.
On Friday, Kasich was asked about the remarks and clarified that, "No, I wasn't taking a shot. I was making an observation, you know?"
When asked whether he thought Bush hadn't "been able to lock up the nomination" "due to his last name as opposed to his skillset," Kasich praised Bush as a "really good guy, a smart guy," before reiterating that him securing the nomination was "just not happening."
"Oh, I think Jeb is a really good guy, a smart guy," Kasich said. "I don't really know, it's just not happening. And it might happen. He could turn this whole thing around and do great."
Kasich then said he wouldn't be considering leaving his job as Governor of Ohio if he believed "the race was not winnable."
"I'm just saying if I thought was not winnable why would I do it?" he asked. "I mean I don't want to do it just to do it. You know, it's fun to be out here and meet a lot of people but I'm also governor of a great state when of the best jobs you can have in the country, Governor of Ohio. So, if this was not something I assessed I could win, then I wouldn't do it."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
Megan Apper is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Megan Apper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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