This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Gov. Gary Herbert once again sidestepped endorsing Republican nominee Donald Trump, evading the question Wednesday of whether he supports Trump.
Herbert again expressed support for Trump's running mate, fellow Gov. Mike Pence, and said he plans to vote for the Republican ticket. But when asked why he declined to join other elected Republican leaders in a letter endorsing Trump, Herbert said, "I don't need to talk about this anymore."
Earlier this year, Herbert endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz in the Republican primary and in 2012 he was eager to endorse Mitt Romney's presidential bid, as he did in 2008, when Herbert was lieutenant governor.
This election, however, Herbert has expressed concerns about Trump's brash, off-the-cuff style and has never said that he supports Trump becoming president of the United States, consistently changing the subject to his support for Pence.
"I'm a practical guy and you know how I'm going to vote," Herbert said. "I really believe in Mike Pence. I believe he brings some stability and vision and I believe he lines up well with Utah."
So why not endorse Trump?
"I'm voting for the ticket," Herbert said.
Herbert's lieutenant governor, Spencer Cox, said he won't vote for Trump unless the candidate makes some major changes, and Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Mia Love have also declined to endorse him for president.
Herbert said it's not just Republicans who are unhappy with their nominee.
"Why are Democrats having such a problem with Hillary Clinton?" he said. "I mean, this is a unique election. You can't just point out the trouble with Mr. Trump and not point to the trouble with Hillary Clinton. … There are certain things that are causing us concern on both sides of the aisle."
Herbert said people care more about the job he does as governor than who he supports for president, and he is focused on his own campaign.
Herbert's opponent, Democrat Mike Weinholtz, is supporting Clinton and has said her election would be historic.
Herbert said he will likely debate Weinholtz more than the one occasion the Utah Debate Commission has scheduled, but not five times, as Weinholtz has suggested. Herbert did not debate his primary challenger, Jonathan Johnson, after Johnson forced Herbert to a primary at the Utah Republican Convention.