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Worst of Both Worlds: Pence Stuck with Both Cruz, Trump

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Worst of Both Worlds: Pence Stuck with Both Cruz, Trump

IN political analyst: ‘Already endangered Pence reelection effort’ now risks losing segment of GOP base

Today, Indiana Governor Mike Pence – already damaged by his focus on social issues over jobs – endorsed Ted Cruz’s social issue-focused campaign.

At the same time, Pence pledged to “work my heart out” for Donald Trump if he wins the nomination. Ten other Republican governors – including New Mexico’s Susana Martinez, Ohio’s John Kasich and Massachusetts’s Charlie Baker – have refused to commit to supporting Trump as the nominee. 

Pence has already seen his approval ratings drop by 17 points after signing an LGBT-discrimination law that cost Indiana’s tourism economy more than $60 million. Indiana political analyst Brian Howey wrote Friday morning that a Cruz endorsement will further alienate “economic conservatives” who were opposed to the discrimination law.

Pence is up for re-election in November.

“No matter what happens in the Republican primary, Mike Pence has cast his lot with both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump,” said Jared Leopold, Democratic Governors Association Communications Director. “Unlike other GOP governors and candidates, Gov. Pence has committed to backing Trump if he wins the nomination. Meanwhile, he’ll have to defend Ted Cruz’s overwhelming focus on social issues over job creation. For Mike Pence, this is the worst of both worlds.”



In March 2016, Mike Pence Said He Would Support Trump as the Nominee, “I’ll Be Supporting the Republican Nominee for President of the United States.” According to WSJV, “When asked if he would support Donald Trump for president Mike Pence responded, “I’ll be supporting the Republican nominee for President of the United States.” [WSJV (FOX), 3/1/16]


In March 2016, Gov. Charlie Baker Said He Did Not Vote for Trump on Tuesday, and “I’m Not Going to Vote for Him in November.” According to the Boston Globe, Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker, under pressure from Democrats and the news media to take a position on whether he would publicly support Donald J. Trump, should he be the GOP presidential nominee, said Wednesday he did not vote for Trump on Tuesday and ‘I’m not going to vote for him in November.’” [Boston Globe, 3/2/16]

In March 2016, Gov. John Kasich Said, “It’s Tough” to Support Trump as the Nominee, Backtracking from His Pledge to Support the Republican Nominee. On March 13, according to NBC, “Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, responded to increasing tensions at opponent Donald Trump’s rallies and was pressed on whether he will support Trump if he wins the Republican nomination. He responded, ‘It’s tough, I mean, but he’s not going to be the nominee.” However, earlier in March the Huffington Post reported, “All of the GOP presidential candidates at Thursday’s debate in Detroit repeated vows to support the eventual Republican nominee, whowever it may be, in November’s election.” [NBC, 3/13/16; Huffington Post, 3/3/16]

 In March 2016, Gov. Susana Martinez Would Not Say if She Will Vote for Donald Trump if He is the Republican Presidential Nominee. According to the Associated Press, “New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez won’t say if she will vote for Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee. But the chair of the Republican Governors Association and the nation’s only Latina governor said Tuesday she’s ‘certainly not’ voting for Democratic hopefuls Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.” [Associated Press, 3/3/16]

 In April 2016, When Asked if He Would Support Trump Gov. Brian Sandoval Said, “Given the Accumulation and Combination of Things I’ve Heard Him Say, That’s Something that I’m Not Firm on Anymore.” When asked if he would support Donald Trump as the nominee, Gov. Brian Sandoval said, “That’s something I’ve thought about and given the accumulation and combination of things I’ve heard him say, that’s something that – I’m not firm on that anymore.” [CNN, 4/18/16]


In April 2016, Indiana Political Analyst Brian Howey Said if Pence Endorses Cruz He Risks Losing Another Segment of the Republican Base. According to Howey Politics, “The office and campaign of Gov. Mike Pence have yet to confirm that he will endorse Ted Cruz for president after conservative WIBC talk show host Gregg Garrison announced this morning that Pence would make a ‘significant announcement at 12:06 p.m. today. […] If he does, the already endangered Pence reelection effort could find itself losing another segment of the Republican base, and the largest, most dynamic one at that. […] One influential Republican official, speaking to Howey Politics Indiana this morning, was incredulous at the news of a Pence endorsement. ‘He can’t afford to lose a single vote,’ the Republican said.” [Howey Politics, 4/29/16]