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Mike Pence "disappointed" with Republican leaders not backing Donald Trump

Mike Pence is speaking out against House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican leaders after their refusal to back GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump any longer, following last week’s reveal of the businessman’s past vulgar comments.

“Paul Ryan is my friend but, yeah, I respectfully disagree with his focus in this campaign,” Pence, who is a former congressman, told NBC News Tuesday evening. “I really do believe that Republican leaders should join millions of Americans and support the Republican nominee for president.”

Ryan, like numerous other Republican lawmakers, have chastised Trump over the lewd tape from 2005, where Trump can be heard boasting about his sexual advances on women and saying that he can “grab them by the p****” because of his fame.

The vice presidential candidate went on to say that “certainly we’re disappointed” by the mass withdrawal of support from top GOP lawmakers but added that he wouldn’t hold it against them in their own re-election campaigns.

“Donald Trump has sought to support Republican candidates in competitive primaries all year long,” Pence said. “We’re gonna continue to. I’m gonna support all of our Republican nominees all across the country because this election is just that important.”

Trump, unlike his running mate, took a more forceful tact when calling out party leaders, tearing into them on his favored social media platform earlier this week.

The GOP nominee tweeted out these attacks against Arizona Sen. John McCain and Paul Ryan:

And on Fox News Tuesday night, Trump unleashed another tirade against McCain and the House speaker, saying he “wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with a lot of these people, that I can tell you, including Ryan.”

Pence, in contrast, had this to say about McCain: “I think it’s very disappointing that after Donald Trump supported John McCain, that John McCain has chosen to withdraw his support.”

When asked by NBC News whether the party was “in crisis,” Pence replied: “I don’t find myself thinking a whole lot about party right now. I find myself and Donald Trump finds himself thinking mostly about America.” 

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