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Trump keeps scorecard on ex-rival endorsements

Six of the 17 GOP nomination contenders on

Six of the 17 GOP nomination contenders on Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. They are, from left, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio and Dr. Ben Carson. Now only Trump is left standing. Credit: Bloomberg News / Daniel Acker

Donald Trump, the last standing of the original 17 Republican hopefuls for president, is keeping score on those former rivals who are now standing with him, or not.

On the one hand, there’s Jeb Bush, who hasn’t endorsed him.

“No, Jeb hasn’t done it yet,” Trump told a rally Wednesday in Anaheim, California. Then, reprising his taunt from early in the primary season, Trump said, “He will get a burst of energy, and he will do it, believe me. He needs a little more energy.”

On the other hand, Rick Perry.

“I get a call that Rick Perry . . . he made the nicest speech [about me],” the presumptive nominee told the crowd. Before endorsing Trump earlier this month, he recalled the former Texas governor “said the worst things about me” — perhaps referring to being described as a “barking carnival act.”

“I’ve never seen people able to pivot like politicians,” Trump observed.

Here’s a handy guide to who has and hasn’t made the pivot to Trump among his former GOP opponents.


  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a frequent onstage presence at Trump rallies, and much discussed for a top spot in a Trump administration.
  • Neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, an adviser to Trump and his campaign, though it’s unclear how much advice is taken.
  • Former Sen. Rick Santorum said this week he endorses Trump “100 percent.”
  • Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore said conservatives should seize the chance “to actually inject our conservative ideas as a matter of policy into the Trump campaign.”
  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who tweeted earlier this month: “I am all in for @realDonaldTrump and urge all the GOP to unite and win back the White House.”


  • Perry said earlier this month that Trump is“not a perfect man” and that “he wasn’t my first choice, wasn’t my second choice, but he is the people’s choice.”
  • Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said “Donald Trump is the second worst choice we can make” but “Hillary Clinton is the worst choice we can make.”
  • Sen. Marco Rubio told CNN that while he still has “policy differences” with Trump, he would speak on his behalf at the GOP national convention if asked because “I don’t want Hillary Clinton to be president.”
  • Sen. Rand Paul said he will honor the pledge all candidates made to support the eventual nominee, who he formerly called “a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag.”
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has endorsed Trump in accordance with the pledge all candidates made to support the nominee but may not campaign for him.


  • Sen. Lindsey Graham has spoken to Trump — conversations both call cordial — but hasn’t formally endorsed the man he has called “a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.”
  • Carly Fiorina hasn’t made an endorsement. At a Connecticut GOP fundraiser this week, she wouldn’t utter Trump’s name but did vow “to do everything “to make sure that Hillary Clinton is not our next president.”


  • Sen. Ted Cruz hasn’t endorsed the candidate he described in the final day his own campaign as “utterly immoral” and a “pathological liar,” and it’s unclear if he ever will.
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich said this week it’s going to be “really hard” for him to back Trump “unless I see a fundamental change” in the candidate.
  • Former New York Gov. George Pataki said of Trump last week that he “needs to articulate a number of thoughtful positions on the issues for me to be able to endorse him.”


  • Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, said he won’t vote for Trump or Clinton adding, “if we lose in November, we Republicans have ourselves to blame.”

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