Haslam now backs Trump, expects no repercussions for balking earlier

Gov. Bill Haslam, who refused to vote for Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president, says he’s now supporting the nation’s leader-to-be and expects no repercussions from the past criticism.

The governor was asked about negative repercussions by reporters Wednesday, reports the Times-Free Press.

“I don’t think so,” said Haslam, who also has expressed concerns over some of Trump’s positions such as trade. “I was very encouraged by his [conciliatory] tone last night, and anybody who saw that would say that that was the exact right tone for him to hit.”

Moreover, Haslam added, Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, “is a good, close friend of mine. Mike and I talk frequently, when we were governors we worked on a lot of issues together, and I actually think our relationship with Mike _ excuse me, Vice President-elect Pence, will be a real benefit to the state as well.”

…”I had some questions about President-elect Trump,” Haslam said. “I had some big concerns with Secretary Clinton. As a governor, there’s some good news. Trump has spoken basically a lot about giving power back to the states. That’s a good thing.”

A further quote via the Associated Press: “We should hope for all success for the new president,” Haslam said. “‘‘And for us, because we have such a critical working relationship with the federal government, we’ll be working hard to build that relationship from day one.”

…Haslam said he is hopeful that Trump can use his outsider status to find new consensus in a divided nation.

“President-elect Trump, I don’t think, comes in with a lot of hard, fast ideological positions on the big issues of the country,” Haslam said. “I think there’s a chance to have a fresh discussion about things.”

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