The two campaigns separately announced the non-aggression pact—brokered by Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, and Kasich’s chief strategist, John Weaver—on Sunday evening. According to Politico, the candidates themselves never spoke directly.
While the Cruz campaign responded to criticism by pointing to math and delegates, Kasich had already veered off message by Monday morning. “I’ve never told them not to vote for me; they should vote for me,” the Ohio governor told reporters, referring to Indiana voters.
“I’m not over there campaigning and spending resources. We have limited resources,” he added. “Mine is like the people’s campaign. I have a campaign where, you know, we’ve been outspent basically 50-to-1. You folks have been counting me out before I even got to New Hampshire. And now we can’t jam all of you into this diner. I mean, everybody chill out.”
Kasich’s chief strategist, Weaver, quickly clarified the candidate’s comments: “We’re not telling voters who to vote for in IN, only where we are going to spend resources to ultimately defeat Hillary. They get it.”
An unnamed, high-level Trump operative told Politico that the campaign is unconcerned with such “cynical manipulations,” focusing instead on the general election. (In a statement on Monday, Trump accused Cruz and Kasich of “collusion.”) “It’s the next logical step for people who are losing. It’s become increasingly clear that the Republican primary electorate has been ignoring these strategic games,” this person said. “We don’t think John Q. Lunchbuckets in Indiana is going to take it very well, being told what to do.”