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John Kasich, Ted Cruz join forces — but Kasich won't 'tell people how to vote'

Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich said Tuesday he may not be campaigning in Indiana, but his larger goal is to become the nominee at a "broken" convention.

Asked on TODAY Tuesday about an unusual alliance the Ohio governor struck with fellow Republican candidate Ted Cruz, Kasich insisted he's simply choosing to put his resources where he's got a better chance of winning.

"I don’t tell people how to vote. I’m not in that state right now, but I will be in other states and I will be at the convention, in a broken convention, trying to be president of the United States," he said.

Kasich and Cruz are hoping their effort will deny front-runner Donald Trump the nomination. Their effort would divide upcoming contests, including elections in Indiana, Oregon and New Mexico.

"He and I would both prefer to have an open convention where delegates can pick the person who can best defeat Hillary Clinton," Kasich explained.

"I have laid out a strategy and I have not told anybody to not vote for me, I’m just not there campaigning. When you don’t campaign in certain areas in any kind of a race, guess what? Your turnout goes down," he said.

The overall goal is to defeat Clinton, who Kasich said he has a better shot of beating than Trump.

RELATED: 'I'm not gonna sit there and be a marshmallow,' John Kasich told TODAY in February

Kasich defended the strategy, deflecting criticism that it was sending mixed messages to voters.

"You guys are too hung up on process," he told TODAY, saying it was the media who were "the ones confused and upset," not voters.

"Voters are smart enough to figure out what they want to do," he said, before elaborating on his upcoming plans.

"I’m going to be going on Thursday to Oregon. Ted Cruz is not going to Oregon. He may be in Indiana. I’m not going to Indiana. I’m not spending resources there. I’m not going on television," he said.

"The fact of the matter is, I'm not over there doing town halls, I’m not over there running television ads. We'll see how it all turns out."

Follow TODAY.com writer Eun Kyung Kim on Twitter.

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