Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Sunday did not rule out making a deal with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to win enough delegates between them to force a contested convention, but said he is focused on winning the presidency himself.
Analysts have speculated that Kasich and Cruz could divide their efforts to focus on getting enough delegates to prevent Donald Trump from reaching the threshold to become the Republican presidential nominee.
In an interview aired Sunday on Fox News, Kasich denied he is acting a spoiler in race and effectively helping Trump win the nomination. He noted that he denied Trump delegates by winning Ohio.
"Nobody is gonna have enough delegates," he said. "We are going to go to a convention. It's going to be open."
"I'm not in the this to stop somebody," Kasich said.
"I'm the only one who can win in the fall," he said, adding that he believes he is candidate most qualified to be president.
Kasich said that he is still focused on spreading his message everywhere because he believes it resonates with people. But he said he'd be "willing to listen" if Cruz proposed a deal.
"We always talk, you know that if someone wants to call and discuss things, but you have to understand this is a mission for all of us," Kasich said on CNN's "State of the Union." "If somebody wants to talk to me, I'll be willing to listen to it."
The Ohio governor also tried to tamp down concern among some Republicans who are worried about the outcome of a contested convention, where no candidate gets enough delegates to become the nominee.
"What's everyone panicking about? Everyone needs to take a little chill pill to tell you the truth," he said.
"This is beginning to detriorate into some political science game, with a bunch of pundits trying to play a parlor game," Kasich said on Fox News. "I'm not interested in that ... I'm a change agent."