Trump accuses Kasich of 'tamping down' enthusiasm for 'otherwise great' Ohio candidate he endorsed

Trump accuses Kasich of 'tamping down' enthusiasm for 'otherwise great' Ohio candidate he endorsed
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary MORE on Monday accused Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) of "tamping down enthusiasm" for Republican House candidate Troy Balderson. 

"The very unpopular Governor of Ohio (and failed presidential candidate [John Kasich] hurt Troy Balderson’s recent win by tamping down enthusiasm for an otherwise great candidate," Trump tweeted on Monday afternoon. "Even Kasich’s Lt. Governor lost Gov. race because of his unpopularity. Credit to Troy on the BIG WIN!" 

Balderson currently holds a razor-thin lead over his Democratic opponent, Danny O'Connor, for the House seat in Ohio's 12th Congressional District, which has gone to Republicans for decades.

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Kasich, an outspoken Trump critic and former GOP presidential candidate, endorsed Balderson over O'Connor before the special election, a blow to the Democrat's campaign strategy of appealing to moderate Republicans who supported the governor. 

Kasich last week said he believes the close results of the special election in the historically Republican district reflect how voters feel about Trump.

"Neither of them really emerged great, and I think it was basically a vote on what people thought about Trump," Kasich said.  

Many commentators have called the Ohio special election between Balderson and O'Connor a "referendum on Trump," as Balderson allied himself closely with the president. 

Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor lost to Attorney General Mike DeWine in the recent Ohio GOP gubernatorial primary election. DeWine sought to draw a connection between Taylor and Kasich, implying Taylor was more moderate, which Taylor refuted.