Gov. Mike Pence Friday announced his endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, just four days before Indiana’s primary. But, he was quick to add the caveat that he’ll support whoever the Republican nominee is this fall.
Pence called Cruz a “principled conservative” who is willing to stand up to party leadership to defend his convictions. The governor said 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 said. "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 said he thinks the endorsement comes too late to make much difference in the race, particularly if it doesn’t come with 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 said.
Trump’s Indiana spokesperson, Tony Samuel, said the endorsement won’t change a single vote. He said the only political impact it will have is potential damage to Pence’s reelection efforts.