Governor Scott Walker says he will support the eventual Republican presidential nominee next November, even if it ends up being Donald Trump.
The governor has been saying for months that he expects someone other than the current front-runner to be the party’s nominee, after what he’s predicted will be an open Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. Walker has said in recent weeks that he hopes that nominee will be Texas Senator Ted Cruz, whom he endorsed ahead of Wisconsin’s primary on April 5.
Trump took a big step closer this week to claiming the nomination outright though, with a big primary victory Tuesday in New York where he could pick up at least 90 delegates. When asked about that possibility Wednesday, the governor said he’s standing by the pledge he made last August when he was still in the race. “In the end, I’m going to support the Republican running,” he said, noting that he still hopes Cruz will be the nominee.
Speaking in Eau Claire, Walker said the “bottom line” is that he will support the Republican candidate so the party can defeat potential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in November. While the former Secretary of State has not secured the nomination in her run against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Walker called the prospect of a Clinton presidency “quite frankly frightening to me.”
Walker was targeted by Trump while he was campaigning in the state ahead of Wisconsin’s primary, where the billionaire criticized the governor’s handling of the state. During a stop later in the day in Green Bay, Walker insisted he’s still not supporting Trump’s presidential run at this time. “I don’t support him…I’ve made that abundantly clear. I’m just saying he’s better than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.”
AUDIO: Gov. Walker says Trump’s negative attacks played a role in Cruz winning Wisconsin (1:08)
Walker dropped out of the presidential race last September and, at the time, urged other candidates to consider doing the same so a different front-runner could be named. At the time, Trump was leading the field ahead of the start of primary season.
Affiliates WAYY and WTAQ contributed to this report.