It is decided: Donald Trump will be the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nominee. Now, the struggle begins, as GOP Congress members, senators, governors, and other bold-faced Republican names, past and present, determine just how much they want to tie themselves to the most unpopular nominee in modern history. Speak out against him and you risk alienating his base. Speak out for him and you risk alienating just about everyone else.
Slate is keeping track of it all. Below you’ll find a running list of Republicans who have weighed in on their party’s standard-bearer, and their (often rather judicious) words of support. We've divided them into these handy categories, so click around.
Endorsed Before He Was the Presumptive Nominee
California Rep. Duncan Hunter (2/24/2016):
"Every country wants into our markets. We have tremendous leverage on trade we have not used. Donald Trump will do that."
New York Rep. Chris Collins (2/24/2016):
"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, re-establish the opportunity for our children and grandchildren to attain the American Dream."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (2/26/2016):
"There is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs both at home and around the world than Donald Trump."
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (2/26/2016):
"I think he could be one of the greatest presidents if he sits down and puts together a good team."
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (2/28/2016):
"I can tell you one thing, I think at this time in my opinion, my best judgment, at this time in America's history, we need to make America great again!"
Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais (2/29/2016):
"While there are certainly things that I admire and respect in each of the remaining candidates, I believe Donald Trump is the candidate best poised to make America great again."
Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino (2/29/2016):
"Donald Trump is saying what the voters agree on and what the voters are feeling."
New York Rep. Tom Reed (3/16/2016):
"Now is the time to unite behind the candidate who I believe will be our nominee, Donald Trump. We must move beyond the bombastic rhetoric to positive discussion about creating jobs and improving the lives of all Americans."
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (3/16/2016):
"[T]he voters are speaking clearly—they want a businessman outsider who will dramatically shake up the status quo in Washington."
North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers (3/21/2016):
"I know exactly how he’s feeling, and I understand totally the way he’s being treated."
Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta (3/22/2016):
"Donald Trump’s voice is resonating with average Americans who feel their voice has been lost by their party."
North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer (4/3/2016):
"The best way to keep our party united is if Trump’s endorsed."
Former House Speaker John Boehner (4/27/2016):
Boehner said he and Trump are “texting buddies,” and said he’d vote for him if he were the nominee (something he said he explicitly wouldn’t do for Ted Cruz).
Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster (4/28/2016):
"Donald is a private sector business leader who knows what it takes to get things done – and that is something that Washington desperately needs."
Florida Rep. Jeff Miller (4/28/2016):
Endorsed After He Was the Presumptive Nominee, With Full Support
North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr (5/4/2016, via Twitter):
"I look forward to working with Mr. Trump at the top of the ticket and to maintaining a #GOP Senate."
Michigan Rep. Candice Miller (5/4/2016):
"I am totally and completely looking forward to President Trump — he’s our nominee."
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (5/5/2016, by way of CNN’s Dana Bash):
"Rick Perry just told me on a phone call from his home state in Texas that he does support Donald Trump and that he’s going to do everything he can to help Donald Trump get elected."
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (5/6/2016):
"I’m fully supportive of our presumptive nominee, and I do think Donald Trump will do well in the State of Indiana. I’m going to campaign hard for the Republican nominee because Indiana needs a partner in the White House."
Former Sen. Bob Dole (5/6/2016):
"The voters of our country have turned out in record numbers to support Mr. Trump. It is important that their votes be honored and it is time that we support the party's presumptive nominee, Donald J. Trump."
Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, Texas Rep. Michael Conaway, Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, Florida Rep. Jeff Miller, Michigan Rep. Candice Miller, Georgia Rep. Tom Price, and Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster (5/13/2016):
In a joint statement, the nine House committee chairman said: "This great nation cannot endure eight more years of Democrat-control of the White House. ... It is paramount that we coalesce around the Republican nominee, Mr. Donald J. Trump, and maintain control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate."
Supporting Without Sounding Happy About It
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (4/20/2016):
"I've always said I'm going to support the Republican nominee, and that's especially true now that it's apparent that Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic candidate."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (5/4/2016):
"I have committed to supporting the nominee chosen by Republican voters, and Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee, is now on the verge of clinching that nomination."
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (5/4/2016, via a spokesperson):
"As she's said from the beginning, Kelly plans to support the nominee,” which was later amended to, “As a candidate herself, she hasn't and isn't planning to endorse anyone in this cycle."
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (5/4/2016):
“I have always supported the Republican nominee for president. Elections are about choices and while Hillary Clinton is not my choice—with her clear record against Alaska’s priorities—Donald Trump has made numerous inappropriate statements in the past that are troubling. Now, he needs to shift his focus to unite Republicans around conservative policies that will bring economic growth and prosperity back to our nation.”
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (5/4/2016):
“I will support the nominee of our party, and it looks like the nominee is going to be Donald Trump.”
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (5/4/2016):
“I have great respect for the will of the people, and as I have always said, I will support the Republican nominee for president.”
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts (5/4/2016):
“I intend to support the nominee.”
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (5/4/2016):
“I’ve always said I would support the nominee, and nothing has changed.”
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (5/4/2016, via a spokesman):
“As Ron has repeatedly said for months, he intends to support the Republican nominee, but he's focused on the concerns of Wisconsinites — not national political winds."
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (5/4/2016):
“I plan to vote for the presumptive nominee although it is no secret that we do not agree on every issue. Elections are about making choices and the Democratic nominee is simply not an option.”
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey (5/4/2016):
“Donald Trump was not my first choice. He wasn’t my second choice or third or fourth choice. I have lots of differences with Donald Trump and lots of problems with him but I am absolutely in the ‘never Hillary Clinton’ camp.”
Former Vice President Dick Cheney (5/6/2016):
Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (5/9/2016):
"I do not pretend Donald Trump is the Reaganesque leader we so desperately need, but he is certainly the better of two bad choices."
Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (5/18/2016):
"Do I have concerns about the comments he made in the past and on the campaign trail this year about women; people with disabilities; and those from different backgrounds? Absolutely—I vehemently disagree with such statements. ... In the months ahead, he will have to earn the Presidency by demonstrating that he has the temperament for the job and plans to empower every American to pursue a future of opportunity and freedom."
Maine Sen. Susan Collins (5/4/2016):
“I have always supported the Republican nominee for president and I suspect I would do so this year, but I do want see what Donald Trump does from here on out.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (5/5/2016):
Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo (3/24/2016):
"I will not support Mr. Trump, that is not a political decision that is a moral decision."
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (4/29/2016):
“I said I was not going to get involved, and I would not endorse any candidate and that I was going to stay focused on Maryland. And I’m not going to take any more stupid questions about Donald Trump.”
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse (5/4/2016):
“With Clinton and Trump, the fix is in. Heads, they win; tails, you lose. Why are we confined to these two terrible options? This is America. If both choices stink, we reject them and go bigger. That’s what we do.”
Former President George H.W. Bush (5/4/2016, via a spokesman):
“At age 91, President Bush is retired from politics. He came out of retirement to do a few things for Jeb, but those were the exceptions that proved the rule.”
Former President George W. Bush (5/4/2016, via a spokesman):
“[He] does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign."
2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney (5/5/2016):
“I see way too much demagoguery and populism on both sides of the aisle and I only hope and aspire that we'll see more greatness. … I don’t intend on supporting either of the major party candidates at this point.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (5/6/2016):
“I cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative, nor has he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as Commander in Chief." (Update 5/23/2016: Graham, though, is reportedly telling GOP donors to unite behind Trump.)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (5/6/2016):
"Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament or strength of character. He has not displayed a respect for the Constitution. And, he is not a consistent conservative. These are all reasons why I cannot support his candidacy."
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (5/17/2016):
"With a bumper sticker approach to policy, his bombastic tone reflects the traits of a bully, not an American president and statesman. If he cannot unite Republicans, how can he unite America? I simply cannot endorse him."
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (6/2/2016):
“I’ve stayed out of the whole thing, and I’m going to continue to. I’ve got important things I want to work on in Michigan.”
We’ll continue to add names as more Republicans weigh in, as well as update the list in the event someone decides to change his or her mind (which we’re sure won’t have anything to do with how Trump’s faring in the polls).
Correction, May 6, 2016: This post originally misattributed a quote by Sen. Dan Sullivan to Sen. Lisa Murkowski.