CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine appears on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Photo: Chip Somodevilla
Photo: Chip Somodevilla

RNC 2016: Mike DeWine on how Donald Trump can win

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“One, he has to continue to bring new people into the party and he has to solidify the Republican base,” DeWine said Wednesday morning at the GOP national convention in Cleveland.

“If he does those two things, he’s going to win Ohio and he’s going to win the presidency,” he added.

The New York real estate developer’s ability to defeat more than a dozen career politicians this year before winning the party’s nomination Tuesday night — along with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ strong showing before losing to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary — came from his success in understanding voters’ frustrations with the status quo, DeWine said.

“I think the lessons so far from 2016 is there is a significant group in America that are fed up with politics,” he said. “They’re fed up with both parties — their squabbling, the bickering. That’s a strong message.

“They don’t see that many times politicians are relevant to their lives,” DeWine added. “So they’ve looked at Donald Trump and they said what do they have to lose. The fact that Bernie Sanders got such a big vote — some people said ‘I’m not sure whether I’m for Sanders or for Trump.’ That sort of tells you how upset people are.”

DeWine on 2018 Ohio Governor’s Race

While DeWine is considering a run for Ohio governor in 2018, the former U.S. senator from Cedarville said there are more pressing needs. Working to help Sen. Rob Portman fend off a challenge from former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland is one of them.

“It’s hard to predict this election in 2016, let alone try to figure out what will happen in 2018,” DeWine said.

“I think we’ll just have to keep focused on this election. People ask me if I’m running for governor. Sure, I’m interested,” he added.

“But it’s not time now. It’s time now to focus on re-electing Rob Portman and getting Donald Trump elected president and all of the other races. That’s where our focus needs to be.”

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