Those looking for an early indication as to whether the Donald Trump campaign would make any attempts at unity in Cleveland got their first clue before the convention even started on Monday.
Cleveland is, of course, located in Ohio. And Ohio’s governor, John Kasich won the Ohio primary and did not drop out of the presidential race until after Trump earned the necessary delegates to become the presumptive GOP nominee. Kasich has declined to endorse Trump and will not speak at the convention, not even giving the short welcome speech that is typical of host governors.
Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s idea of outreach, which is basically the whole point of having a convention? He went on Morning Joe on Monday and said:
“He’s hurting his state and embarrassing his state, frankly. But most of the Republicans who aren’t coming are people who have been part of the past. And people who are part of the future of the Republican Party are, frankly, going to be here participating in the program.”
Manafort is not wrong. People who aren’t coming to the convention include the Bush family (two former presidents and the former governor of Florida, an important swing state) and former presidential nominees Mitt Romney and John McCain. But who needs them when you have Antonio Sabato Jr. and Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White—aka the future of the party?
Elsewhere it was reported that Ohio’s delegation to the convention is seated in the back of the floor at Quicken Loans Arena.
However Trump feels about Kasich, he’s someone that a more reasonable candidate would be trying his best to appeal to: Not only is he popular, but he’s in a swing state. No GOP candidate has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio.