In a national TV appearance, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence on Wednesday endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) in his primary election after Donald Trump declined to do so on Tuesday.
“I strongly support Paul Ryan, strongly endorse his re-election,” the Indiana governor said on Fox News. “He is a long time 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 endorsed Ryan when asked about Trump’s comment that he’s “just not quite there yet” in backing Ryan in his primary race.
“I think what Donald Trump said, he’s not there yet — these are two men building a good relationship, and I’m very confident after Donald Trump’s elected president and Paul Ryan’s reelected to Congress and as speaker of the House, these two will do great things to restore the country at home and abroad,” Pence said.
“In politics, it takes time to have relationships together,” he added.
When asked whether Republican leaders are “a little out of step with each other,” Pence said that’s “not at all” the case.
“I talked to Donald Trump this morning about my support for Paul Ryan and our longtime friendship. He strongly encouraged me to endorse Paul Ryan in next Tuesday’s primary, and I’m pleased to do it,” he said. “This is all part of a process of bringing a party together after you know what was a competitive primary process.”