Ohio's John Kasich, former Trump rival, visits White House

Ohio Governor and former presidential candidate John Kasich speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ohio Governor John Kasich worked to repair his strained ties with Republican President Donald Trump on Friday with a visit to the White House, where he compared his situation to being on an airplane and rooting for the pilot to succeed.

Kasich was the last rival to oppose Trump in the Republican presidential nomination fight and famously refused to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, in his home state, last summer when Trump officially became the party’s nominee.

At the White House, Trump brought Kasich into the Oval Office for a half-hour meeting. They discussed Kasich’s ideas for overhauling President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, a pressing priority for Trump and the U.S. Congress.

Asked if he had buried the hatchet with Trump, Kasich told reporters after the meeting that he wanted Trump to succeed and would agree with him on some occasions and would speak out when he does not.

“The man is the president of the United States. It’s sort of like being on an airplane. You want to root for the pilot. If you’re on the airplane with the pilot, you don’t want the pilot to screw up,” Kasich said.

Kasich said he stressed with Trump the importance of his administration speaking with one voice, saying he had attended the Munich Security Conference in Germany recently and heard concerns about Trump’s policies despite reassurances given by Vice President Mike Pence.

Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Jonathan Oatis