One day following Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s refusal to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) in his re-election bid, vice presidential candidate Gov. Mike Pence voiced his support for the nine-term congressman.
“I strongly support Paul Ryan, strongly endorse his re-election.”
“He’s a longtime friend, he’s a strong conservative leader. I believe we need Paul Ryan in leadership in the Congress of the United States to rebuild our military, to strengthen our economy and to ensure that we have the kind of leadership in this country that will make America great again,” Pence said on Fox News.
Pence admitted he had discussed his potential endorsement of the House Speaker with Mr. Trump and Trump encouraged him to make the gesture.
Pence followed his comments with the observation relationships in Washington often take time to build, but he found the two men were on the way to building a good relationship.
Speaker Ryan is running in Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district Republican primary against businessman Paul Nehlen, a Trump supporter. According to a poll released Friday
, Ryan leads overwhelmingly by 66 points.
In an interview last weekend, Trump said he was “just not quite there yet,”
in terms of endorsing Ryan. On Monday, Nehlen’s campaign stated: “The problem with Paul Ryan is his constant knee-jerk reactions to anything controversial Donald Trump might say without completely understanding the issue. He’s LOOKING for a way to contradict and criticize Mr. Trump because he knows the liberal press will eat it up.”
Mr. Trump thanked Nehlen for his “kind words” in a tweet later Monday evening.
[Reuters] [The Hill] [Photo courtesy Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via people.com]