Former US senator and 1996 Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole has endorsed the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump
Dole became the latest Republican elder to back the billionaire businessman even as other GOP officials have distanced themselves from the candidate.
“The voters of our country have turned out in record numbers to support Mr. Trump,” Dole said in a statement released by the Trump campaign.
“It is important that their votes be honored and it is time that we support the party’s presumptive nominee.”
Former vice president Dick Cheney also said Friday he would support Trump’s presidential campaign.
Cheney, 75 told CNN that he has always backed the GOP’s nominees for the White House, and this year will be no exception.
Former US Vice President Dick Cheney is seen in this November 9, 2015 AFP photo in Washington, DC.
The endorsements come after former presidential candidate Jeb Bush and Senator Lindsey Graham on Friday said they would not vote for Trump in the November general election.
And on Thursday, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan, a Republican, said he was “not ready” to endorse Trump but hoped at some point to be comfortable enough to do so.
Speaking to a crowd in Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday, Trump said Republicans are “supposed to be coming together” and he doesn’t know why Ryan declined to immediately endorse him.
“Paul Ryan, I don’t know what happened,” Trump told the crowd of around 1,500 inside an airport hangar. “I don’t know. He called me two, three weeks ago — it was a very nice conversation. He was congratulating me.”
Former Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry, who once called Trump’s candidacy a “cancer on conservatism,” also endorsed Trump Thursday.
“He said I’m a cancer on the Republican Party — that’s the bad news,” Trump said Friday. “Let me tell you the good news — yesterday, he endorsed me. And I like him. I do like him. I forgot about the one hour where he went wild.”
Trump has denounced the GOP presidential primary process as “rigged, disgusting, [and] dirty.”