Governor Haslam Hesitates to Endorse Donald Trump

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Tennessee governor Bill Haslam says he hasn’t decided whether to throw his support to Donald Trump–despite a meeting with him earlier this week.

The governor covered a wide range of state issues in an appearance at the Chattanooga Rotary Club luncheon Thursday, including LGBT complaints about recently passed laws.

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Governor Haslam told the Rotarians about a one hour meeting with Trump in New York Monday…along with 5 other governors. But, like other GOP leaders, Haslam is apparently conflicted on how much support he’s willing to give the presumptive republican candidate. But he says there are good reasons to choose a republican.

“The president appoints a whole lot of people..that’s part of what everybody should take into account when they vote,” Haslam said.

“I don’t want to get all hung up on an endorsement one way or another, whether I endorse or not won’t make any difference in Tennessee. I don’t think the people of Tennessee are waiting with bated breath to see what I do on that.”



Moving to other major issues in the state…like the fallout from the counselor bill that became law without his signature…but considered by some as being anti LBGT.

“I want to challenge the idea that the counseling bill was an LGBT bill..it wasn’t,” Haslam said.

“We’re always sensitive to the image of Tennessee…we’re going to do that. But we also have to do the right thing. I had a lot of counselors say ..The freedom to do that as a professional..not to turn somebody down but to refer them to somebody else is important.”

Haslam was one of a dozen local and state leaders who received a tweet from Chattanooga city councilman Chris Anderson last Sunday—-accusing them of “hateful attacks” on LGBT, and tying them to the tragic shootings in Orlando.

“That’s the kind of ..to borrow their phrase..that’s the kind of hateful language that we need to do away with …To impugn motives on somebody else that are just not true,” said Haslam.

The governor was asked if Donald Trump might tap him as a vice presidential candidate—he says he thinks Bob Corker would be a better choice.