Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate, declined on Thursday to endorse Arizona Sen. John McCain’s reelection bid.
“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 should to shoulder with Donald Trump to drive that new leadership forward.”
The vice presidential candidate also declined to endorse New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
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 travelling 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 came just 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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