Rep. Chris Collins is the first to endorse the frontrunner in the one area where Rubio has the strong advantage.
It’s takes one rich businessman to know another. That’s the early takeaway from Rep. Chris Collins’ (R-New York) endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, the first endorsement form a sitting member of Congress for the billionaire.
“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 released to The Buffalo News. “That is why I am proud to endorse him as the next President of the United States.”
Collins had endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, but the brother of President George W. Bush suspended his campaign after a poor showing in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
While Bush’s executive experience led Collins to back Jeb Bush, it is Trump’s business experience that the congressman said led to his endorsing the bombastic real estate mogul.
“If we want to get our nation’s economy growing again and deal with the daunting fiscal issues threatening America’s future, it’s time to say no to professional politicians and yes to someone who has created jobs and grown a business,” Collins said. Collins has been involved politics since 1997, when he lost to Rep. John LaFalce (D-New York). He was an executive for Erie County prior for six years prior to his election to Congress.
The announcement came a day after a marred Nevada caucus gave Trump another win over his rivals. And while the billionaire has received his fair share of endorsements, none have come from currently-elected officials.
This is contrasted with his nearest rival, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) who has the endorsements of 59 sitting governors, senators and congressmen. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has 25 such endorsements and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) has seven.
This did not deter Collins from swinging his support to an outspoken man reviled by many party insiders.
“We need a president willing to make the tough decisions necessary to restore our country to greatness,” Collins said in his statement. “I believe Donald Trump is the man for the job, and I am proud to provide him with my support.”
That doesn’t mean Trump is excited about the endorsement, though.
“Endorsements mean very little,” he told Good Morning America on Wednesday.
“Now, and as of yesterday, people were calling, a lot of people were calling, and I’ll have many endorsements soon, but it’s not something I want to work for, to be honest with you, because it’s a waste of time,” he said.
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