Rick Caruso joins John Kasich’s presidential campaign

The developer is now the Ohio governor's national finance and California campaign co-chair

Apr.April 04, 2016 10:00 AM

While they may technically share the same profession, Rick Caruso is not a fan of Donald Trump. The retail developer pledged last week to be the national finance and California campaign co-chair for John Kasich, calling the New York real estate mogul a “bad candidate.”

Caruso, the billionaire behind retail complexes the Grove and Americana, has long taken an interest in politics, having considered a run for mayor of L.A. in 2013 and having served on the police commission.

“He can win, and he’s the best candidate and he’ll make the best president,” Caruso told the L.A. Times of Kasich, the Ohio governor. “There are two boxes — who actually has the experience and could do a really good job, and two, who can win. The only person who can check those two boxes is John Kasich.”

Trump, on the other hand, doesn’t have Kasich’s potential mass appeal despite his high ratings, Caruso said.

“I clearly think he would be a bad candidate,” the developer told the Hollywood Reporter. “You’re seeing what he’s really about, even in just the past few days — the comment about women and abortion, the negative ratings he has with women in the country, which is completely understandable.”

While Kasich trails behind Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in both state delegates as well as public support, Caruso said he believes Kasich has a shot at the nomination through a contested convention.

“Nobody is going to have the delegate math, so it’s going to be some sort of brokered convention,” Caruso told L.A. Daily News. “It’s going to the floor. Nobody will win the first ballot, and on the second ballot, they will vote for someone who is qualified and someone who would win the general election.”

Kasich has secured 143 delegates so far — a measly number compared to Donald Trump’s 736 and Ted Cruz’ 463. The Republican party requires GOP 1,237 delegates to take home the nomination. If no candidate can procure that many delegates, then all bets are off.

In the past, the centrist Caruso has supported Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown and got behind Mitt Romney in 2012. His current projects include revamping downtown Pacific Palisades to become a retail center called Palisades Village. [L.A. Times] [L.A. Daily News] [The Hollywood Reporter]Cathaleen Chen

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