The day after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump refused to offer his endorsement to House Speaker Paul Ryan, Trump’s vice presidential running mate, Gov. Mike Pence offered Ryan his strong support.
I strongly support Paul Ryan, strongly endorse his reelection. 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.
— Gov. Mike Pence - Fox News
Trump has praised Ryan’s opponent in the Wisconsin primary, Paul Nehlen saying he’s “running a very good campaign.” Referring to Speaker Ryan Trump said:
I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country. We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.
— Donald Trump – The Washington Post
Trump’s statement was similar to the language used by Speaker Ryan last May when he refused to endorse Trump after he’d won a majority of delegates. Ryan said of supporting Trump, “I’m just not quite there yet.” Trump also refused to endorse Sen. John McCain, who has issued a strong denunciation of Trump’s comments about the Kahn family.
Trump’s refusal to support GOP candidates is unprecedented
Trump refusal to support two high-profile candidates of his own party is unprecedented in recent politics. Equally striking is his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence breaking with the candidate by issuing his endorsement after Trump declined. But there is much about Donald Trump’s campaign that is unprecedented and surprising.