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:
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."