Gov. Mike Pence Friday announced his endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), just four days before Indiana’s primary. Pence was quick to add the caveat that he’ll support whoever the Republican nominee is this fall.
Pence calls Cruz a “principled conservative” who is willing to stand up to party leadership to defend his convictions.
The governor says he’s not worried his endorsement will alienate some Republican voters.
“I think this is the time for choosing and to lead is to choose,” Pence says. “And I thought this was the right time for me to step forward and let people know what my choice was.”
Pence also gave special recognition to Donald Trump, saying he’s glad to have Trump’s voice in the national debate.
Political scientist Andrew Downs says he think the endorsement comes too late to make much difference in the race, particularly if it doesn’t include any ads or direct mail pieces.
“Unless there’s an effort to really put something behind this, it’s an interesting bit of information that we’ll talk about for a couple of minutes and then people will get to the weekend and many will probably forget it,” Downs says.
Trump’s Indiana spokesman Tony Samuel says the endorsement won’t change a single vote. He says the only political impact it will have is potential damage to Pence’s reelection efforts.