Rubio Suggests Ohio Voters Back Kasich to Stop Trump

Wilfredo Le/AP

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Desperate to stop Donald Trump’s march to the Republican presidential nomination, Marco Rubio’s campaign suggested on Friday that the best way to defeat Trump, in one state, at least, is not to vote for Rubio.

“If you are a Republican primary voter in Ohio and you want to defeat Donald Trump, your best chance in Ohio is John Kasich,” Rubio’s communications director Alex Conant said on CNN.

Rubio echoed that sentiment. “John Kasich is the only one who can beat Donald Trump in Ohio,” Rubio said. “If a voter in Ohio is motivated by stopping Donald Trump, I suspect that’s the only choice they can make.”

The comments come days before the high-stakes, winner-take-all primaries on Tuesday in Florida and Ohio, where both Rubio and Kasich are battling Trump on their home turf. Conant and Rubio’s remarks embrace the strategy put forward by Mitt Romney earlier this month, when he urged Republicans to vote for the most viable anti-Trump candidate in each state to deprive Trump of enough delegates to win the nomination. By this logic, Rubio’s supporters in Ohio would cast a strategic vote for Kasich, the state’s governor, to keep Trump from winning Ohio and its 66 delegates.

Polls show Kasich battling Trump for the lead in his home state, while Rubio is in single digits.

Conant argued that the favor should go both ways: Kasich supporters should vote for Rubio in Florida to stop Trump. “Marco Rubio is the one person who can beat Donald Trump here in Florida,” he said on CNN. “If you like John Kasich or you like Ted Cruz and you’re here in Florida, you need to vote for Marco Rubio because he’s the only one who can deprive Donald Trump of those 99 [Florida] delegates.”

But the Kasich campaign is reportedly not buying into this strategy.

Most polls show Rubio trailing Trump significantly in Florida.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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