On the heels of his blowout victory in the Nevada caucuses, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has picked up something he insists he doesn’t care about: congressional endorsements.
California Rep. Duncan Hunter announced on Wednesday that he will support the billionaire real estate mogul’s presidential bid.
“We don’t need a policy wonk as president,” Hunter told Politico. “We need a leader as president.”
“I don’t think Trump wants my endorsement, and that’s one reason why I like him,” he continued, adding: “I think you have more Trump supporters in Congress. They just have to come out of the closet, so to speak.”
Earlier Wednesday, New York Rep. Chris Collins became the first sitting member of Congress to endorse Trump for president.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in Las Vegas on the night of the Nevada Republican caucuses. (Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
“Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated that he has both the guts and the fortitude to return our nation’s jobs stolen by China, take on our enemies like ISIS, Iran, North Korea and Russia, and most importantly, reestablish the opportunity for our children and grandchildren to attain the American Dream,” Collins said in a statement to the Buffalo News. “That is why I am proud to endorse him as the next President of the United States.”
Collins had previously endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who dropped his bid for the GOP nomination last week.
“If we want to get our nation’s economy growing again and deal with the daunting fiscal issues threatening America’s future,” Collins continued, “it’s time to say no to professional politicians and yes to someone who has created jobs and grown a business.”
By contrast, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who finished 22 points behind Trump in Nevada, has been endorsed by 13 fellow U.S. senators and 44 representatives and three governors, according to the website FiveThirtyEight, which is tracking the so-called “Endorsement Primary.” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who finished in third place Tuesday, has the support of one governor and 24 representatives — but no endorsements from his Senate colleagues.
In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, Trump said he had received calls from “a lot of people” who indicated they will endorse him, but he’s not actively seeking such support.
“It’s not something I want to work for, to be honest with you, because it’s a waste of time,” Trump said. “Endorsements mean very little.”