- The Washington Times - Friday, April 29, 2016

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced Friday he is supporting Sen. Ted Cruz in the state’s GOP presidential primary on Tuesday, giving the Texas Republican a much-needed boost as he pulls out all the stops to secure a win in the state.

“I’m not against anybody, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz in the upcoming Republican primary,” Mr. Pence said during an appearance on WIBC, a local radio station.

“I see Ted Cruz as a principled conservative who’s dedicated his career to advocating the Reagan agenda,” he said. “I’m pleased to support him.”

Mr. Pence said he likes and respects all three of the Republican candidates in the field, and he’s met recently with Mr. Cruz, GOP front-runner Donald Trump, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

“Whoever wins the Republican nomination for president of the United States, I’m going to work my heart out to get elected this fall,” said Mr. Pence, who is running for re-election himself. “Indiana needs a partner in the White House.”

“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.,” Mr. Pence said.

The governor said he’s “particularly grateful” that Mr. Trump has “taken a strong stand for Hoosier jobs.”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly blasted Carrier, a subsidiary of United Technologies, for the company’s plans to shift jobs from Indiana to Mexico.

The billionaire businessman has said that as president, he would tell the company he’s slapping a 35 percent tariff on every air conditioner it tries to send back into the U.S.

“I’m grateful. I’m grateful for his voice in the national debate,” Mr. Pence said.

Asked about the prospect of a Ted Cruz-Carly Fiorina ticket running against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and Mrs. Clinton’s running mate, Mr. Pence said: “I’m for anybody but Hillary and Bernie Sanders.”

“I’m expressing my support today, but after voters make all their choices between now and June 7 and our party settles on a nominee, on a team, on a ticket, I promise you I’m going to work my heart out for that team and make sure that we deliver a great victory,” he said.

Earlier Friday, Mr. Cruz had praised Mr. Pence and said he would “enthusiastically” welcome the governor’s support.

“I have tremendous respect for Governor Mike Pence,” Mr. Cruz said. “He has been an incredible leader for the state of Indiana. … I think Governor Mike Pence is an optimistic, positive, unifying force — a strong leader who I respect.”

During an appearance on CNN earlier in the week, Mr. Trump called Mr. Pence a “great guy” and said he’s done a “very, very good job as governor.”

“He may not endorse,” Mr. Trump said. “I don’t think he’ll endorse anybody, actually … and he may endorse us. I don’t know. He’s a great guy.”

Mr. Pence, also a former congressman, had at one time been mentioned as a possible 2016 Republican presidential contender, but announced last June that he would run for re-election.

Last year, Mr. Pence signed into law a religious freedom bill that was praised by conservatives but attacked by opponents as discriminatory.

He later signed a revised version to make it clear that the law does not allow discrimination — though that move prompted some backlash from conservatives.

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