Haslam: What presidential race? He’s focused elsewhere

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam doesn’t look like he will be hitting the campaign trail anytime soon on behalf of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The Republican governor was coy when asked by reporters Thursday at an event in Abingdon, Virginia, about whether he plans to endorse Trump before the election.

Haslam, who endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio before Tennessee’s Super Tuesday primary in March, says his campaign plans for the fall include “focusing on legislative races in Tennessee and then helping in some congressional races around the country.”

Haslam has been critical of Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign and said he wanted to wait until after a meeting with the candidate to decide whether to support him. But Haslam emerged from that meeting still unwilling to make an endorsement.

Note: There’s an expanded quotation in WPLN’s report on the governor’s response to a question on whether he would be endorsing Trump:

“I haven’t been real excited about some of the things he said. I guess that’s the best way to put it. I think he’ll win in Tennessee, but my endorsement probably won’t impact that one way or another,” Haslam said. “I’m going to focus on those candidates, both in our state legislature and in the US Senate, where I think keeping the balance there in the right hands is incredibly important.”