Mike Pence follows Donald Trump's lead in declining to endorse John McCain

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Trump VP Avoids John McCain Endorsement

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Donald Trump's running mate, declined on Thursday to endorse Arizona Sen. John McCain's reelection bid.

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump declines to endorse Paul Ryan: 'I'm just not quite there yet'

"I look forward to supporting Republican candidates in the days and weeks ahead all over the country, and so does Donald Trump," Pence said during an interview with NBC News when asked if he would endorse McCain.

Pence added: "But the stakes in this election are so high. To restore our country and home and abroad, we need new leadership, and I'm looking forward to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Donald Trump to drive that new leadership forward."

The vice presidential candidate also declined to endorse New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

RELATED: See Pence through the years:

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence through the years
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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence through the years
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) and Indiana Governor Mike Pence (L) wave to the crowd before addressing the crowd during a campaign stop at the Grand Park Events Center in Westfield, Indiana, July 12, 2016. REUTERS/John Sommers II
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 07: Mike Pence, R-Ind. (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images)
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, right, talks about the flooding in Indiana to Rep. Mike Sodrel, R-Ind, left, Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and Fred Armstrong, Mayor of Columbus, during a stop in Columbus, Ind., Wednesay, Jan. 12, 2005. A wave of thunderstorms moved across Indiana overnight, causing some scattered flash flooding in north-central Indiana on Wednesday as already saturated ground could not handle the additional rain.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Representatives Mike Pence, R-Ind. and Jeff Flake, R-Az speak with reporters outside the White House after meeting with President Bush, Wednesday, April 27, 2005, in Washington. President Bush met with several members of congress to talk about his Social Security agenda. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., who together proposed a bill concerning illegal immigrants, take part in a news conference in San Antonio, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2006. Hutchison and Pence toured the Customs and Border Protection Air Operations Center in San Antonio during their visit. Their proposal would require illegal immigrants to cross the border and apply through privately run "Ellis Island" centers to return to the United States on work visas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
House Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind. takes part in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 19, 2009. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., center, accompanied by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R- Calif., left, and Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas., listens to comments during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., speaks at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Saturday, April 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., speaks at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Saturday, April 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., meets with constituents during a town hall meeting in Pendleton, Ind., Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. Pence announced yesterday that he will not seek the presidency in 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., is surrounded by supporters after announcing his campaign for the Republican nomination for Governor of Indiana during an gathering of supporters in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, June 11, 2011. Pence promised to fight health care reform and federal climate change legislation. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., as he kicks off his campaign for the Republican nomination for Governor of Indiana during an gathering of supporters in Columbus, Ind., Saturday, June 11, 2011. Pence promised to fight health care reform and federal climate change legislation. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature at the Statehouse Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence addresses the Illiana Industry Forum Monday, June 24, 2013, in Rosemont, Ill. Pence was joined by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in hosting a business forum for a planned 47-mile expressway aimed at relieving traffic congestion into the Chicago area. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Dwayne Sawyer speaks after being named as the Auditor of State for Indiana by Gov. Mike Pence during a news conference at the Statehouse Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, in Indianapolis. Sawyer will complete former Auditor Tim Berryâs term, which runs through 2014. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence talks with Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann before giving his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature at the Statehouse Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, second from left, South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley, second from right, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, far right, listens as Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, far left, speaks during a press conference at the Republican Governors Association's quarterly meeting on Wednesday May 21, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence pauses while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 in National Harbor, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks at the National Rifle Association convention Friday, May 20, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
FILE - In this July 3, 2016, file photo, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks during a news conference before attending Symphony on the Prairie for a Fourth of July concert in Fishers, Ind. Pence is one of several Republicans Trump is considering for his vice presidential running mate. Trump is expected to announce his decision on Friday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
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John Weaver, a Republican strategist and a former adviser to Ohio Gov. John Kasich's campaign, slammed Pence on Twitter for the move.

"I remember traveling with John McCain to Indiana to campaign for, several times, for a desperate Mike Pence," he wrote. "Shame on him."

Pence's refusal to make an endorsement in either race comes days after Trump did the same while blasting both senators. McCain and Ayotte have been critical of the billionaire's candidacy.

The New York businessman also declined to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan, something on which Pence broke with him.


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