Kasich was not originally scheduled to speak.
“I have no regrets for what I’ve done in my political career,” Kasich said. “I look in the mirror, and I feel good about who I am.”
According to a report that came out Wednesday, Republican Party nominee Donald Trump asked Kasich the chance to be “the most powerful vice president in history.”
Trump offered the job to Kasich and would have put him in charge of domestic and foreign policy, according to CBS.
Kasich has refused to endorse Trump and made the decision to avoid the convention floor. Trump’s campaign adviser said earlier this week that Kasich was embarrassing the state.
Thursday morning, Kasich referenced his mother, who he said taught him to “stand on the principles you believe in.”
“At the end of the day, it’s just you, the mirror and the Lord,” Kasich said. “We don’t need to divide. We need to stand on our principles.”
Kasich said Cleveland is earning “quite a reputation” as the host city — “not quite Hawaii,” he joked — and he hopes economic gain and job creation will come from this event.
“I’ve learned that in Ohio, you’ve got to bring people together,” Kasich said. “You’ve got to unify the family. … No one is being cut out. No one is being left behind in our efforts. This state has come back. We’re not done yet.”
Kasich commended the heavy security presence in Cleveland.
“When you target police, you destroy the fabric of our country, and we will not tolerate it in this country,” Kasich said.
A team of our reporters attended the Ohio delegation breakfast event this morning at the DoubleTree Hotel that also featured Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Pam Bondi, Florida’s Attorney General.
Kasich introduced Taylor before she spoke to the delegates.
“I’m really proud of our city — the city of Cleveland and the state of Ohio,” Taylor said. “I think we’ve been really great hosts. I think they are wowed by what Ohio has to offer.”
Looking toward tonight’s speech from Trump, Taylor said she wants to hear about the issues and she expects he’ll devote some time to party unity.
Trump hopefully will share his plans for tackling issues that matter to Ohioans, like jobs, the economy, national security and the national debt, Taylor said.
“The national debt is crushing our country and it’s going to destroy the future for our kids and grandkids,” she said.
Pence “hit it out of the park” with his speech, Taylor said.
This convention has helped the party get behind its nominee and outline the consequences of this election, she said.
Pence did a good job of introducing himself to the nation and sharing his vision for America, State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, said.
“Mike Pence, I think, is a solid conservative with a record in Congress and as a governor,” Antani said. “I think grassroots conservatives will like him.”
Antani said he was shocked by Sen. Ted Cruz’s speech, which he described as very bold.
Antani was sitting with the Ohio delegates, all of whom were Kasich supporters.
As Cruz’s speech progressed, Antani said, “We were all just looking around at each other like, ‘What is going on? What is he doing?’ The crowd literally turned on him.”
Cruz won many delegates, but the people on the floor wanted him to endorse Trump and he did not, Antani said. Kasich, who has not endorsed Trump, did not come to the convention.
Kasich did not fold just to appear on national TV, he said.
But Cruz accepted a speaking slot and still withheld an endorsement, which is surprising, he said.
“For him to come to the convention and not endorse Trump – that is just incredible,” he said.
Tonight, Trump hopefully will lay out his positive vision for the country and say some things that will unify the party, Antani said.
Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, made some suggestions this morning for Trump, who will speak tonight at Quicken Loans Arena.
“I think I would show a little humility,” DeWine said. “I might say something like, ‘I’m not a politician. Sometimes I’m much more candid than people are used to. Sometimes in my candor, I say things and go too far.’ Then I’d go from there. ‘But here’s my vision for the country. I love America. I love our country. I don’t think we’re living up to our potential today.’ And then talk about his vision for the future.”
DeWine believes the race in Ohio will be “very, very close.”
“It will go down to the wire,” DeWine said. “He can win Ohio. The final push for the general election starts tonight.”
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said this morning the Republican party has been “divided,” and a “lot of team building has to happen inside” the party.
“But as I’m out walking the city of Cleveland and the convention floor, a lot of the Republican delegates are basically saying, ‘Respect democracy,’” Husted said. “Donald Trump won fair and square. That doesn’t mean you can’t be critical of the things he says. But on the other hand, you can’t be out there saying Hillary Clinton is bad for America, and then not go ahead and support the Republican nominee.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said delegates from across the country have been thoroughly impressed with Cleveland, the state of Ohio, and the welcoming and friendly environment they encountered.
The Republican Party will leave Cleveland unified, and the nation needs a president who will invest in national security and the military and displays strength, Turner said.
“I think everyone in Ohio is ready to get behind the candidate, get this job done and elect Donald Trump,” Turner said.
Hillary Clinton has been part of an administration that has “led from behind,” he said.
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