More Endorsements For Donald Trump
Following the wake of Chris Christie’s endorsement of Donald Trump, which continues to reverberate through the race for the 2016 nomination and the Republican Party, Trump has picked up the two more Republicans who have held the Governor’s office, and there are signs there might be more to come.
First up, within hours after Christie’s endorsement Maine Governor Paul LePage announced his own endorsement of Trump:
Maine Gov. Paul LePage endorsed Donald Trump for president Friday, lending the GOP front-runner the backing of another northeastern governor on the same day Chris Christie offered his support.
“I’ll be very honest. I originally said I’d like it to be a governor, but unfortunately, the American people are not going for a governor this year. So I’m going to endorse Donald Trump,” LePage said on the “Howie Carr Show,” a syndicated talk radio show based in Boston.
“I was Donald Trump before Donald Trump became popular. So I think I should support him since we’re one of the same cloth,” said LePage, an outspoken politician whose comments have often thrown him in the spotlight — just like Trump.
Last month, the governor said his state was too easy on drug crimes and suggested bringing back the guillotine for serious offenders, and drew controversy for using racially-charged language to explain his state’s drug epidemic.
Later in the afternoon, Trump himself called in to Carr’s show.
“Having Chris Christie and Paul is fantastic,” Trump said. “I’m really happy about it.”
In a statement released by the Trump campaign Friday evening, LePage said he’s endorsing Trump because he will bring back manufacturing jobs to the U.S. and secure the immigration system.
“Here in Maine, we have seen firsthand the burdens imposed by politicians who allow illegal immigrants to take advantage of our hardworking taxpayers. Mr. Trump is the only candidate talking about reducing these burdens and helping Americans first,” LePage said.
The LePage endorsement isn’t entirely surprising since he and Christie have apparently had a close relationship that developed out of Christie’s time as head of the Republican Governor’s Association last year. This was also the point at which LePage and Christie found themselves on the same side of of one of the most controversial aspects of 2014’s Ebola panic, the case of Nurse Kaci Hicox, who was first detained by New Jersey authorities after returning from Africa and then became the subject of LePage’s efforts to take similar action when she returned to her home state of Maine. The two men can also be fairly said to have similar public personas notwithstanding the fact that Maine is a far different place from New Jersey. As noted above, LePage had also endorsed Christie while he was running for President and had yet to endorse any other candidate since Christie had dropped out of the race after the New Hampshire Primary.
Then, earlier today, former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer endorsed Trump as well:
Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Saturday endorsed Donald Trump for president.
Trump has made immigration a central issue in his campaign for president, vowing to build a wall along the southern border of the United States and promising to have Mexico pay for it.
“For years I pleaded with the federal government to do their job and secure our border. Today, we can elect a President who will do just that — Donald J. Trump,” Brewer said in a statement released by Trump’s campaign.
Brewer’s endorsement is perhaps less surprising given her past association with hard line positions on immigration, including her support for SB 1070, the package of immigration-related enforcement measures passed by the Arizona legislature that became the focus of controversy in 2010 and resulted in a series of Court challenges that ended with a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that largely upheld the law on challenges that it was preempted by Federal Law but which left open the possibility that the law could still be struck down if it is found that it is being applied unfairly to Latino’s and other minority groups. Brewer has also been rather outspoken on immigration in other respects and perhaps gained her highest degree of public notice for what seemed to be an argument between her and President Obama on an airport tarmac back in 2012. Brewer, however, has been out of office since the 2014 elections so its unclear what weight her endorsement actually carries at this point.
Beyond LePage and Brewer endorsements, there has been much speculation since Christie came out in support of Trump about what other support he may be bringing with him. There’s been much speculation, for example, that many of the Governors that Christie became close with during the time he was at the Republican Governors Association. Some of the name that have been thrown out there include Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, and Florida Governor Rick Scott. None of these men have given any indication that they are inclined to jump on board the Trump train as of yet, but then pretty much everyone was surprised by Christie’s endorsement of Trump in the first place. Of these three, the most interesting possible endorsement, of course, would be from Florida’s Governor, which could play a significant role in sealing Marco Rubio’s fate in a state where he’s already trailing and where a loss would seemingly be fatal to his campaign.
In addition to Governor’s it’s also likely that we’ll see Congressional endorsements for Trump start to roll in if he continues on his current pace. As I’ve noted, Trump received his first two Congressional endorsements earlier this week and it’s likely that we’re going to see more if Trump continues to appear to be the person most likely to become the Republican nominee. If nothing else, politicians like to appear to be on the winning team and there seems to be a strong sentiment on Capitol Hill that Trump would be preferable to Texas Senator Ted Cruz. So, be prepared for an endorsement parade in the coming weeks as the Republican Party resigns itself to the increasing inevitability of Donald Trump being the party’s Presidential nominee.