MSNBC host Rachel Maddow couldn’t help laughing at times on Friday while describing conservatives’ reluctance to endorse — or even appear to endorse — any Republican presidential candidate.
She started the segment by going over Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s lukewarm statement of support toward Sen. Ted Cruz, during which he asserted, “to lead is to choose” before telling residents to “make up their own mind.”
“This was his big leadership moment: ‘Everybody just decide for yourself,'” a giggling Maddow pointed out.
Pence also made sure to emphasize that he “likes and respects” all three GOP candidates, as well as how “grateful” he was for that Donald Trump — the party’s current front-runner — had entered the race.
“‘Did I mention how much I like Donald Trump?'” Maddow said mockingly, parroting Pence’s tone. “‘I’m not against anybody, I will kind of vote for this guy, I guess, but I don’t want you to read into it.'”
To understand why Pence was being so obtuse, Maddow asked her viewers to picture themselves in his shoes as he seeks re-election following the uproar created by the anti-LGBT “religious freedom” bill he and state Republicans pushed through.
“You’re hoping everybody forgets about that mess in time for your numbers to bounce back this year so you can get re-elected,” she said. “But it turns out you, Mike Pence, are unlucky. Because on the way to your re-election race in Indiana this year you have now got to face something you didn’t expect to be such a big deal: next week’s Indiana Republican presidential primary. Apparently it matters this year — oh no! — which means people care about it, which means you as the sitting Republican governor, you kind of have to pick a side.”
According to the International Business Times, an average of several polls shows Trump holding a narrow lead over the Tea Party senator going into the primary, which has been declared as a must-win for Cruz.
Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Friday, below.