Republican presidential candidate John Kasich on Monday said that Indiana’s voters should still back him, despite an alliance with Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE to clear the way for his presidential rival in the state's Republican primary.
“I’ve never told them not to vote for me,” he said at a diner in Philadelphia. "They ought to vote for me.
“I’m not out there campaigning and spending resources,” Kasich added. "I’m not going to spend resources in Indiana. [Cruz is] not going to spend resources in other places.
“So what? What’s the big deal? What’s wrong with that? I’m not campaigning in Indiana, and he’s not campaigning in those other states. That’s all.”
Cruz and Kasich on late Sunday announced a joint effort aimed at keeping Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE from the GOP presidential nomination.
The pair’s strategy hinges on blocking Trump from getting the 1,237 delegates needed to avoid a contested Republican National Convention in July.
As part of the Indiana agreement, Cruz is making space for the governor in later voting contests in Oregon and New Mexico.
Kasich said on Monday that his partnership with Cruz is a necessity, pointing to his campaign’s resources.
“I don’t have, like, Daddy Warbucks behind me giving all this money,” he said. “I have to be careful about my resources.
“You ought to feel good about it. My campaign is like the people’s campaign. I have a campaign which has been outspent like 50 to 1.”
A top aide to Kasich’s campaign on Monday said that Indiana voters understand Kasich’s overall goal is keeping Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE from the presidency.
“We’re not telling voters who to vote for in IN, only where we are going spend resources to ultimately defeat Hillary,” campaign strategist John Weaver tweeted of the Democratic presidential front-runner. “They get it.”
Trump leads Cruz, his closest challenger in Indiana, by just over 6 points before its primary on May 3, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.
He tops Cruz by 12 points nationwide.
This report was updated at 11:44 a.m.