Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) responded quickly to the terrorist attack in Brussels, expressing "solidarity with the people of Belgium" but pointedly not mentioning or blaming Islam.
That contrasted with the response of Donald Trump, who suggested that America "close up" the borders, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who condemned "the latest in a string of coordinated attacks by radical Islamic terrorists perpetrated by those who are waging war against all who do not accept their extreme strain of Islam." Kasich's tone — build alliances, but don't demonize Islam itself — has been consistent as the Republican primary field has shrunk. He repeatedly criticized Trump when the front-runner called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, and used a January forum organized by Jack Kemp's son to criticize anti-Muslim sentiment at a Trump rally.
"I saw a crowd booing this woman who was being escorted," said Kasich. "That’s not the spirit of Jack Kemp. I mean, we are people that can tolerate differences and respect people, and this is nonsense. That is not the Republican Party."
Polling suggests that Kasich is headed for losses in today's Utah caucuses and Arizona primary; he campaigned for two days in Utah in the hopes of pushing Cruz under the 50 percent vote threshold, which would allow other candidates to earn delegates.