U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany on Friday heaped praise on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate:
Governor Mike Pence is a good and decent man, a skilled legislator, an experienced executive, and a principled conservative candidate for Vice President. Governor Pence and I served together in the House of Representatives, and I consider Mike a personal friend. I applaud Governor Pence’s selection to join the Republican ticket, take back the White House, and ensure Hillary Clinton never sets foot in the Oval Office.
But what’s missing in the congressman’s effusive statement? No mention of the other half of “the Republican ticket."
It’s true, Boustany joined with other Louisiana Republican members of Congress in May in congratulating Trump on becoming the presumptive nominee after winning the Indiana primary and forcing “Lyin’ Ted Cruz” out of the race. The statement called on Republicans to rally behind the nominee to ensure that Hillary Clinton is not elected. But in scouring the google tubes this morning we can find no instance where Boustany explicitly praises Trump as a qualified candidate for the White House or endorses him in any “I think Donald Trump will make a great president” way.
We emailed Jack Pandol, Boustany’s press secretary, for a clarification and got this: “He endorsed Trump with the rest of the Louisiana delegation (except Garret Graves) and the LAGOP immediately after the Indiana primary when it became clear that Trump was the presumptive nominee of the party,” Pandol replied, providing a link to the Hayride’s website with the statement and adding, “He’s always said he would support the nominee. Any Republican is better than Hillary Clinton, who he thinks would be a disaster for our country.”
Pandol’s reply sounded a bit equivocating, so I requested a clarification: “Actually, Jack, this is kind of lodged in my craw. Does the congressman believe Donald Trump will be a good president or does he believe that Trump will simply be a better president than HRC? Can you provide any links where Dr. Boustany praises Trump outside of that either/or proposition?”
Pandol’s response, sans links:
Dr. Boustany believes Donald Trump is the best person in this race to be President of the United States. That’s why he gave his endorsement. And, just as it says in the endorsement statement, if Republicans don’t unite behind the nominee, we risk losing the Supreme Court for a generation. Donald Trump says he will support the kind of conservative justices Dr. Boustany would look at confirming in the Senate.