Mike Pence endorses Paul Ryan, Donald Trump still 'not there yet'

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Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said he was "pleased" to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan's re-election bid ahead of next week's primary in Wisconsin, a day after his running mate, Donald Trump, declined to do so.

In a phone call to Fox News Wednesday afternoon, Pence said he had spoken to Trump about the former reality television star's decision to hold off on endorsing Ryan, who faces a challenge from businessman Paul Nehlen in his congressional primary.

"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," Pence, who served in the House with Ryan for 12 years.

"I strongly support Paul Ryan, strongly endorse his re-election," he said.

Photos of Mike Pence during his acceptance speech:

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Mike Pence acceptance speech
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Mike Pence acceptance speech
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) greets vice presidential nominee Mike Pence after Pence spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and vice presidential candidate Mike Pence at the end of the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on July 20, 2016. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Indiana Governor Mike Pence speaks on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of prostesters and members of the media. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/WireImage)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Indiana Governor Mike Pence speaks on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of prostesters and members of the media. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/WireImage)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his family great supporters on the third day of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of prostesters and members of the media. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - JULY 20: Donald Trump joins Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on stage at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 20: Presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and his running mate Mike Pence appear on stage at the Republican National Convention held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 20: Mike Pence, running mate of Presidential candidate Donald Trump, addresses the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence prepares to address the crowd, during the third day of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 20: Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence is greeted by House Speaker Paul Ryan before he addresses the crowd, during the third day of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. (Photo by Michael Robinson-Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets vice presidential candidate Mike Pence after his speech on day three of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 20, 2016. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, USA - JULY 20: Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump points to Indiana Governor Mike Pence after he officially accepted the Republican nomination of Vice President during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, USA on July 20, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, USA - JULY 20: Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump attempts to kiss Indiana Governor Mike Pence after he officially accepted the Republican nomination of Vice President during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, USA on July 20, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) greets vice presidential nominee Mike Pence after Pence spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) greets vice presidential nominee Mike Pence after Pence spoke during the third day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) greets vice presidential nominee Mike Pence after Pence spoke during the third day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Trump on Tuesday stunned the political world when he said in an interview with The Washington Post that he was "just not there yet" – strongly echoing Ryan's own May 5 announcement he was "just not ready" to support Trump. Ryan eventually endorsed Trump a month later, but has spentmanydays since condemning Trump's inflammatory statements.

On Wednesday, Pence said he was confident Trump and Ryan could work together well, should Trump win in November.

"These are two men that are building a good relationship," Pence said, "and I'm very confident after Donald Trump is elected president and Paul Ryan is re-elected to Congress and as speaker of the House, these two men are going to do do great things to restore the country at home and abroad."

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