Trump had us all fooled, thinking he wouldn’t endorse the reelections of certain Republican party leaders just because he said a few days ago that he didn’t.
At a campaign event in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Friday, Donald Trump endorsed the reelections of Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator John McCain less than a week after he’d refused to do so. In the same appearance, Trump endorsed Senator Kelly Ayotte, with who he’s feuded in the past.
“We all have disagreements, but we disagree as friends and never stop working toward victory. And very importantly toward real change. So in our shared mission to make America great again, I support and endorse our speaker of the house Paul Ryan.”
JUST IN: Donald Trump endorses Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in reelection bid, reversing course. https://t.co/6UssmO7sM5— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 6, 2016
Trump spoke of Ronald Reagan, big tents (why not huge?), and party unity. “Big, big tent,” he said. “Remember?”
On Tuesday, Trump declined to endorse Ryan or McCain in their respective primaries, telling the Washington Post, “I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country…. We need very, very strong leadership. I’m just not quite there yet.” This last line, which mimicked language Ryan used back in May when he hesitated to support Trump, was widely interpreted as a grade-school-caliber taunt.
On Wednesday, Trump’s convictions already seemed to be easing up when his running-mate, Mike Pence endorsed Ryan by proxy, sort of. “I strongly support Paul Ryan, strongly endorse his reelection,” Pence told Fox News.
In that same interview Pence said that Trump “strongly encouraged” him to endorse Ryan.