Indiana Gov. Mike Pence delivered a lukewarm endorsement of Ted Cruz on an Indiana radio show Friday morning where he strongly praised Donald Trump for giving "a voice to the frustration of millions of working Americans." He also said he was "grateful" for Trump bringing attention to Carrier outsourcing. Pence's remarks on WIBC-FM:
I like and respect all three of the Republican candidates in the field. I particularly want to commend Donald Trump who I think has given voice to the frustration of millions of working Americans with a lack of progress in Washington, D.C.
I am also particularly grateful that Donald Trump has taken a strong for Hoosier jobs when we saw jobs of the Carrier company abruptly announcing they are leaving Indiana. Not for another state, but for Mexico.
I am grateful for his voice in the national debate. I have come to my decision of who I am supporting and I am not against anybody, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz in the upcoming Republican primary.
While Pence said he has decided to vote for Cruz in the Indiana primary he would "encourage every Hoosier to make up their own mind." Pence said he will support whoever wins the Republican primary.
NBC's Katy Tur, who covers Trump for the network, called the endorsement "extraordinarily tepid."
NBC's Kasie Hunt said the language Mike Pence used to endorse Cruz, saying he will vote for Cruz but encouraged others to vote how they wish, "shows just how scared Republican politicians are of Trump voters."
"He was concerned of Trump voters," Hunt added.
"If I was the Donald Trump campaign I would take that snippet and run it [as a commercial]," former RNC chairman Michael Steele said of the endorsement.