Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has caused a massive fissure within the Republican Party with his refusal to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan for re-election. This came as a surprise to many since, although Ryan was initially hesitant to endorse Trump, he did eventually offer his support. He even introduced the nomination of Mike Pence at the Republican national convention in July.
Trump’s endorsement refusal, in which he used words similar to those used by Paul Ryan when he explained to the media why, at the time, he was not ready to endorse Trump, led to speculation of the move being vindictive in nature. If that is the case, the vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence should watch his back after he announced on Wednesday morning that he endorses Paul Ryan.
During an interview on FOX News on Wednesday, Pence said that he “strongly endorses” Paul Ryan, who is currently in a heated primary with political newcomer Paul Nehlen.
“I strongly support Paul Ryan, strongly endorse his re-election,” Pence, a longtime congressional colleague of Ryan’s, said in a phone interview with Fox News. “He is a longtime friend. He’s a strong conservative leader. I believe we need Paul Ryan in leadership in the Congress of the United States.”
Prior to the official announcement of Mike Pence as Trump’s running mate, information that he was the pick leaked. This came as a surprise to some since Pence endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Indiana Primary. Rumors ran rampant that Trump tried desperately to get out of the selection of Pence as his running mate after the news leaked.
Will this latest break from Trump in a strong display of independence by Pence cause problems between the two candidates on the Republican ticket?