Sen. Mike Lee is still not ready to endorse Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
On Thursday, Lee reiterated he’s not comfortable giving his stamp of approval to Trump, despite his support for GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence.
“I am a big fan of Governor Pence,” said Lee during his Utah Solutions Summit in downtown Salt Lake City. “However, the top of the ticket is really important. Support for a running mate is not the same as supporting the presidential nominee.”
Lee says Trump still has not sufficiently addressed his two main concerns about governance, federalism, and separation of powers.
“I think an overwhelming majority of the problems we have in the federal government right now are rooted in a chronic neglect of these two issues. We need to keep power nearer to the people and strengthen the separation between the three branches of government.”
Lee says Trump could easily address these issues on the campaign trail. Instead, the GOP nominee has focused on issues that don’t shed much light on these topics.
When asked if he’d been lobbied by the Trump campaign to provide an endorsement, Lee took a not-so-subtle dig at Trump’s struggling campaign.
“I’ve made it clear to all of his campaign managers that if he could make it clearer where he stands on the separation of powers, it would be easier for me to consider coming on board.”
Gov. Pence is a scheduled speaker at Lee’s annual gathering, and the Senator says he expects another discussion about whether he can offer his support for the Republican ticket.
However, Lee says his waffling on Trump’s candidacy doesn’t automatically mean he’s going to vote for another candidate, but he is still mulling his options.
“On election day, I’m going to cast a vote that will be based on my principles and who I think will best represent me in the White House.”