Trump: Kasich ‘doing the right thing’ by dropping out

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(CNN) — Donald Trump on Wednesday said John Kasich is “doing the right thing” by dropping out of the presidential race, adding that he is interested in vetting the Ohio governor as a potential running mate.

“That’s good. That’s good. You’re just telling me that for the first time,” Trump said when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer relayed the news of Kasich’s decision, which CNN confirmed during the interview.

“I think John is doing the right thing,” Trump added.

Trump’s remarks came in a wide-ranging interview at Trump Tower the day after he notched a crushing victory in the Indiana GOP primary, flattening the final roadblock in his meteoric 10-month rise from celebrity candidate to presumptive Republican nominee.

Trump shared his views on a range of domestic and foreign policy issues, saying he’d consider raising the minimum wage. He addressed some of the controversial proposals that have blighted his favorability among a majority of Americans, and said “of course” he didn’t believe Ted Cruz’s father was linked to the JFK assassination despite circulating a tabloid report just one day earlier.

To mark that beginning, Trump’s campaign is beginning to compile a shortlist of potential running mates, and the real estate mogul said he is forming a committee to vet potential picks — a group that he said will likely include his former rivals-turned-supporters Ben Carson and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Although Kasich has been critical of Trump’s rhetoric and many of his proposals on the campaign trail, Trump insisted that he has “a very good relationship with John.”

“I think John will be very helpful with Ohio,” Trump said of Kasich and his home state, which will once again be a battleground state in November’s general election.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has yet to dispatch her rival for the Democratic nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“There’s been a little flip,” Trump said. “I thought that I’d be going longer and she’d be going shorter.”

“I thought that I’d be out there and she’d be campaigning against me,” Trump said, noting that he will now be in a position to begin campaigning against the likely Democratic nominee while Clinton continues her contest against Sanders.

The general election, Trump said, has “essentially” begun.