Tommy Thompson reluctantly endorses Donald Trump

Posted at 9:57 PM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 23:04:02-04

Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson admits he's one of those reluctant Republicans when it comes to supporting presidential candidate Donald Trump.

But in an interview with TODAY’S TMJ4, Thompson says he's backing Trump and recently talked with the presumptive nominee about competing in Wisconsin.

"He is going to be our nominee. We've got to get behind him. We've got to support him," said Thompson.

Trump was not Tommy Thompson's first or his second choice for president. But when it comes to Trump the former governor is in the BTC camp, “Better Than Clinton.”

Benson: Is Wisconsin in play? Can he win in Wisconsin given how rough it was for him in the primary?
Thompson: Well he's got a long way to go. He's behind right now.

The Republican losing streak in Wisconsin presidential politics is now seven straight. During that time Thompson won four state wide races and he thinks Wisconsin could be in play for Trump.

Benson: You've talked to him?

Thompson: Yes, I have several times. I've been quite impressed when I've talked to him, [it] really seems like he wants to come into Wisconsin. He believes he can win Wisconsin.

Thompson is a delegate to the GOP convention, and says Trump needs to put resources into the state to have a chance. He knows there are long-time Republicans,  especially in Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington counties who are reluctant to jump on “the Trump train,” but he says that can change.

"He's got to be able to look at the American public right square in the eye and say, this is what I'm going to accomplish for you. This is what we need and this is how I'm going to do it. If he does,  he can be the next President of the United States.”

Three Wisconsin polls in June show Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in the Badger state.

The Marquette Law School poll has her up by nine points .