Walker says he's withholding Trump commitments

Posted at 10:08 AM, Jun 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-08 13:35:07-04

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is hedging on his support of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying he is going to withhold any commitments until the national convention next month.

Walker has repeatedly said since last year, when he was still running for president, that he would back whoever is the party's nominee. Even after endorsing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Wisconsin's primary, Walker returned to his previous pledge to support the presumptive nominee, who turned out to be Trump.

But on Tuesday, Walker appeared to be backing away from the billionaire businessman.

"He's not yet the nominee," Walker told reporters following an event in Sauk County. "Officially that won't happen until the middle of July, and so for me that's kind of the time frame."

Walker said a lot of people, not just Republicans, "want to see what he's going to do now and between the time the convention comes."

The governor's spokesman, Joe Fadness, didn't immediately respond to messages left Wednesday seeking comment.

Walker joined with other Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, in disavowing Trump for repeatedly saying U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel could not preside fairly over a case involving Trump University because of his Mexican heritage.

Ryan, of Janesville, described what Trump said as the "textbook definition of a racist comment." Soon after, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, withdrew his backing of Trump.

Walker said he wants to make sure Trump "renounces what he says, at least in regards to this judge."

But Trump showed little signs of doing that on Tuesday.

In an interview Tuesday on Fox News, Trump said Republicans who are angry at him should "get over it." In his statement earlier in the day, Trump said he had been "misconstrued" and that he was "justified in questioning" his treatment by the judge.

Walker's brief run for president ended in September. At the time, Walker called for others to drop out so they could unite behind someone to defeat Trump. Walker campaigned closely with Cruz in Wisconsin, which was the last state Trump lost before becoming the presumptive nominee.

And Walker has scoffed at the possibility of being Trump's running mate, saying in April he "can't even fathom" that possibility and "it's almost breathtaking."

Walker, like Ryan, has couched his support of Trump as being preferable to electing Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"It's just sad in America we have such poor choices right now," Walker said Tuesday. "We've got someone who has systematically lied to the American people and in doing so, in some ways, has put America's national security at risk and someone, who at least of late, has been saying things that run directly at odds with our core beliefs and principles in this country."


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