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)
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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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