Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, local Republicans are hesitating throwing their full support behind him.
There was still a field of three as recent as the May 3 Indiana primary, but when Trump came out the clear winner, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich both withdrew from the race leaving Trump the last man standing.
Usually, once a clear nominee is realized, members of their party rally behind them by raising money, speaking to citizens in communities across the country, and acting as spokespersons for them. This time around, however, Republicans both nationally and locally aren’t rushing to be part of the Trump platform.
Congressman and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, appeared on Jake Tapper’s show on CNN and said he’s not ready to throw his support behind Trump.
“I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now,” Ryan said in a story about the interview reads.
Ryan’s reason, in part, is that he wants to see what Trump is going to do to bring together the factions inside the Republican party.
“And we’ve got a ways to go from here to there,” Ryan told Tapper, the story continues.
Here in Racine County, Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, issued a statement Wednesday saying he’s taking a wait-and-see approach.
“Even before I cast my first vote, I was proud to call myself a conservative Republican and I’m still one today. Over the course of the next few months, I will listen to Donald Trump’s ideas and see if he can earn my support and the support of other conservatives,” the statement reads. “My main focus will continue to be on the issues facing my district in Racine County and the state of Wisconsin.”
State Sen Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, said he was as surprised as anyone that Trump is the nominee and said he’d like to see more consistency with his positions but is ready to be part of the larger group that steers Trump into positive ideas.
“My challenge is that he needs to be consistent with his positions,” Wanggaard said in a voicemail to Racine County Eye. “I’m not sure what they all are. I think we need to come alongside him and have a positive influence with the people surrounding him with positive ideas and make sure that he is in line with the core principles of the party.”
Wanggaard also said he’s worried about what will happen come November if voters can’t bring themselves to vote for Trump.
“People are questioning what they’re going to do,” he said. “They aren’t going to vote for Hillary, I don’t think. Maybe they won’t vote at all, and that’s a concern so we need to make sure (Trump) gets consistent.”
Wisconsin hasn’t voted majority for a Republican presidential candidate in over 30 years; the last time the state went red was in 1984 when residents helped re-elect Ronald Reagan, according to the 270towin.com website.