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‘No path right now for me’: Kasich won’t run for president against Trump

John R. Kasich, the former Republican governor of Ohio, said Friday that he will not try to seek a 2020 presidential run. (Steve Helber/AP)

John R. Kasich, a favorite among the “Never Trumpers” hoping for a viable Republican to challenge President Trump in 2020, all but ruled out Friday the chance he would run.

“There is no path right now for me,” Kasich said on CNN. “I don’t see a way to get there.”

The former Ohio governor, who ran for president in 2016, never embraced Trump like most of GOP did. For that reason, the bloc of anti-Trump Republicans have long pointed to Kasich as someone who could save the party by challenging the president for the 2020 nomination.

But Kasich said the reality is that “90 percent of the Republican Party supports” Trump, so there is no opening for an intraparty fight.

“I’ve never gotten involved in a political race I didn’t think I could win, and right now there’s no path,” he reiterated.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll in January bore that out. Among Republicans and those who lean Republican, 65 percent said they wanted the party to renominate Trump, and 32 percent said the party should nominate someone else.

For a while, there had been considerable buzz about a top-tier GOP challenger running against Trump, such as Kasich or Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, or even Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. However, so far only one Republican, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, has officially jumped into the race.

Bill Kristol, a conservative commentator who opposes Trump, is on the front lines of efforts to persuade a big-name Republican to run against Trump. But even Kristol seems to have accepted that Weld may be the only chance he’s got: Kristol is co-hosting a meet-and-greet with Weld on June 18 in Washington.

There also has been speculation that Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who recently came out in favor of impeaching the president, is considering taking on Trump.

Romney, who has unequivocally stated that he will not run for president in 2020, told Politico that he is not prepared to support Trump’s reelection campaign, though he considers it inevitable that Trump will be the GOP nominee.

Still, Romney called Weld a “terrific guy,” and although he said he disagrees with Amash’s assessment on impeachment, he said the congressman’s stance is “courageous.”

David Weigel contributed to this report.