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RNC co-chair rips into 'sore loser' Kasich for criticism of Trump

Republican National Committee (RNC) Co-chairman Bob Paduchik published a blistering op-ed on Friday slamming Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) as "Antagonist in Chief" over his criticism of President Trump.

"Throughout the 2016 campaign, Kasich continued to play the sore loser, openly criticizing then-candidate Trump and organizing against the campaign behind the scenes.  After Trump's historic election victory and inauguration, Kasich's opposition to President Trump hit various peaks and valleys," he wrote in a column for Cleveland.com.

Paduchik went on to repeatedly hit Kasich over his failed 2016 presidential campaign and an earlier bid in 2000.

"It's 2018 but Kasich is still running for president in 2016. And he is insanely jealous. Kasich cannot come to terms with the fact that President Trump is so popular, he can come to Ohio and draw crowds measured in the tens of thousands," he wrote.

"I am certain it's hard to run for president and lose twice. Most people take the humbling experience of failure as an opportunity to grow, but Kasich has taken the path less traveled. Sad," Paduchick concluded.

He also argued that Kasich's criticism of the president could have cost state Sen. Troy Balderson votes in a House special election earlier this month. Balderson was holding a razor-thin lead over opponent Danny O'Connor (D) in a race that has yet to be called.

Paduchik also slammed Kasich after the Ohio governor said Balderson had not invited Trump to a rally before the election, which he said was "falsely implying that Balderson didn't want President Trump's support."

Paduchik's comments came after Trump tweeted Monday: "The very unpopular Governor of Ohio (and failed presidential candidate) @JohnKasich hurt Troy Balderson's recent win by tamping down enthusiasm for an otherwise great candidate. Even Kasich's Lt. Governor lost Gov. race because of his unpopularity. Credit to Troy on the BIG WIN!"

Kasich is believed to be flirting with a presidential run in 2020 and has been one of the few Republicans who have been willing to openly criticize President Trump.

The president had an 83 percent approval rating among Republicans, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday, and his endorsement can often mean the difference in GOP primaries in red states.

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