Donald Trump speaks during his rally at the Charleston Civic Center on May 5, 2016 in Charleston, W.V.
Mark Lyons—Getty Images
By Daniel White
Updated: May 18, 2016 1:22 PM ET | Originally published: May 11, 2016

Republicans have had a mixed reaction to Donald Trump becoming their presumptive presidential nominee.

Some have preferred to avoid the topic altogether or issue pro forma declarations of support for the party’s nominee, while others have given more full-throated endorsements or even said he’d make a great president.

Here’s a list of what 28 Republicans had to say, ranked on a scale from “Sad!” to “Yuuge” based on their level of support.

Jeb Bush

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks to an audience of voters on February 18, 2016 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Former Florida Governor and 2016 presidential candidate

“Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament or strength of character. He has not displayed a respect for the Constitution. And, he is not a consistent conservative. These are all reasons why I cannot support his candidacy.” (May 6)

Rating: Sad!

Lindsey Graham

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and 2016 presidential candidate, right, places his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance at the Stafford County GOP Christmas Party during a campaign stop at Newick's Lobster House in Dover, New Hampshire, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015.
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. Senator from South Carolina and former 2016 presidential candidate

“I just really believe that the Republican Party has been conned here, and this guy is not a reliable conservative Republican.” (May 6)

Rating: Sad!

Mitt Romney

Donald Trump endorses Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Las Vegas on Feb. 2, 2012.
Ethan Miller—Getty Images

Former Governor of Massachusetts and 2012 Republican presidential nominee

“I see way too much demagoguery and populism on both sides of the aisle and I only hope and aspire that we’ll see more greatness. … I don’t intend on supporting either of the major party candidates at this point.” (May 5)

Rating: Sad!

George W. Bush

Former U.S. President George W. Bush attends a game between the Southern Methodist Mustangs and the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium on August 31, 2014 in Waco, Texas.
Ronald Martinez—Getty Images

43rd President of the United States

A spokesman for Bush said “[he] does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign.” (May 4)

Rating: Sad!

Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 30, 2014.
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images

U.S. Senator from Texas and former 2016 presidential candidate

“The voters in the primary seem to have made a choice. We’ll see what happens as the months go forward, I think we need to watch and see what the candidates say and do.” (May 10)

Rating: Sad!

Tom Ridge

Courtesy of Tom Ridge

Former Governor of Pennsylvania and Congressman

“With a bumper sticker approach to policy, his bombastic tone reflects the traits of a bully, not an American president and statesman. If he cannot unite Republicans, how can he unite America? I simply cannot endorse him.”

Rating: Sad!

Paul Ryan

“Count me out,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, discussing the ongoing race for the GOP nomination

Speaker of the House and 2012 vice presidential nominee.

“I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now.” (May 5)

Rating: Sad!

Dick Cheney

Former Vice President Dick Cheney makes remarks during a bust unveiling ceremony for him in the Capitol Visitor Center's Emancipation Hall on Dec. 3, 2015.
Tom Williams—AP

Former Vice President of the United States

Cheney told CNN he would support Trump as the nominee but previously called the New Yorker a “liberal Democrat.” (May 6)

Rating: Low energy

Kelly Ayotte

Kelly Ayotte speaks at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 24, 2016.
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

U.S. Senator from New Hampshire

Said she would support the nominee, but would not endorse Trump “as a candidate herself.” (May 5)

Rating: Low energy

Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks to supporters at the Palafox Wharf on March 12, 2016 in Pensacola, Florida.
Mark Wallheiser—Getty Images

U.S. Senator from Florida and former 2016 presidential candidate

“I don’t see myself as the guy who’s going to spend the next six months taking shots at him,” Rubio said, adding that he “respects” and “accepts” Trump’s nomination by Republican primary voters. “That’s not going to change the reservations I have about this campaign.” (May 10)

Rating: Low energy

Bobby Jindal

Republican presidential candidate Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal speaks during the Sunshine Summit conference being held at the Rosen Shingle Creek on November 14, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images

Former Governor of Louisiana and former 2016 presidential candidate

“I do not pretend Donald Trump is the Reaganesque leader we so desperately need, but he is certainly the better of two bad choices.” (May 8)

Rating: Low energy

Pat Toomey

Pat Toomey arrives for the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on "The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress" on Feb. 24, 2015.
Bill Clark—CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania

“Donald Trump was not my first choice. He wasn’t my second choice or third or fourth choice. I have lots of differences with Donald Trump and lots of problems with him but I am absolutely in the ‘never Hillary Clinton’ camp.” (May 4)

Rating: Low energy

Lisa Murkowski

Lisa Murkowski speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC., June 15, 2010.
Alex Wong—Getty Images

U.S. Senator from Alaska

“I have always supported the Republican nominee for president. Elections are about choices and while Hillary Clinton is not my choice—with her clear record against Alaska’s priorities—Donald Trump has made numerous inappropriate statements in the past that are troubling. Now, he needs to shift his focus to unite Republicans around conservative policies that will bring economic growth and prosperity back to our nation.” (May 4)

Rating: Low energy

John McCain

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks during a committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 7, 2015.
Carolyn Kaster—AP

U.S. Senator from Arizona and 2008 Republican presidential nominee

“You have to listen to people that have chosen the nominee of our Republican Party,” McCain said. “I think it would be foolish to ignore them.” (May 9)

Rating: Classy

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley speaks on Sept. 18, 2015 in Greenville, S.C.
Sean Rayford—Getty Images

South Carolina Governor

“I have great respect for the will of the people, and as I have always said, I will support the Republican nominee for president.” (May 4)

Rating: Classy

Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Republican from Kentucky Mitch McConnell holds a year-end news conference, on Capitol Hill in Washington on De. 18, 2015.
Michael Reynolds—EPA

Senate Majority Leader

“I have committed to supporting the nominee chosen by Republican voters, and Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee, is now on the verge of clinching that nomination.” (May 4)

Rating: Classy

Reince Priebus

Reince Priebus pictured in the Spin Room at the CNN GOP Debate at The Venetain Resort in Las vegas, NV on December 15, 2015.
Erik Kabik Photography/ MediaPunch

Chairman of the Republican National Committee

“Donald Trump will be presumptive GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating Hillary Clinton,” Priebus wrote in a tweet following Trump’s win in Indiana. (May 3)

Rating: Classy

Pete Ricketts

Neb. Gov. Pete Ricketts gestures during a news conference in Lincoln, Neb. on May 20, 2015.
Nati Harnik—AP

Governor of Nebraska

“I will support the nominee of our party, and it looks like the nominee is going to be Donald Trump.” (May 4)

Rating: Classy

Rand Paul

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul speaks during a caucus day rally on Feb. 1, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Pete Marovich—Getty Images

U.S. Senator from Kentucky and former GOP presidential candidate

“You know, I’ve always said I’ll endorse the nominee,” “To me it’s most important that people know that, for Kentucky, the Clinton’s will be terrible.” (May 5)

Rating: Classy

Rick Perry

Rick Perry speaks to supporters at the Victory Texas and Republican Party of Texas election night watch party in Buda, Texas on Nov. 2, 2010.
Ben Sklar—Getty Images

Former Governor of Texas and 2016 presidential candidate

“He wasn’t my first choice, wasn’t my second choice, but he is the people’s choice,” Perry said. “He is not a perfect man. But what I do believe is that he loves this country and he will surround himself with capable, experienced people and he will listen to them.” (May 5)

Rating: Classy

Mike Huckabee

Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks at Inspired Grounds Cafe in West Des Moines, Iowa on Jan. 31, 2016.
Kiichiro Sato—AP

Former Governor of Arkansas and 2016 Republican presidential candidate

Huckabee recently said the billionaire was Hillary Clinton’s “worst nightmare.” “Everybody said Donald Trump wouldn’t come, they said he couldn’t get past August or the early controversies, I’m sitting as a candidate, ‘Well you know what, he won’t last long’ — well, he’s outlasted all of us and I think they’re gonna underestimate Donald Trump’s candidacy at their own peril.” (May 15)

Rating: Very, very strong.

John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner leaves after announcing his resignation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 25, 2015.
Astrid Riecken—Getty Images

Former House Speaker

Boehner said the two are “texting buddies” and that he would vote Trump in November.

Rating: Very, very strong

Bob Dole

Bob Dole participates in a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC on July 27, 2015.
Bill Clark—Getty Images

Former U.S. Senator from Kansas and 1996 Republican presidential nominee

“The voters of our country have turned out in record numbers to support Mr. Trump. It is important that their votes be honored and it is time that we support the party’s presumptive nominee, Donald J. Trump.” (May 5)

Rating: Very, very strong

Mike Pence

Mike Pence speaks during a press conference on March 31, 2015.
Aaron P. Bernstein—Getty Images

Governor of Indiana

“I’m fully supportive of our presumptive nominee, and I do think Donald Trump will do well in the State of Indiana. I’m going to campaign hard for the Republican nominee because Indiana needs a partner in the White House.” (May 6)

Rating: Very, very strong

Paul LePage

Maine Governor Paul LePage holds a Town Hall Meeting to discuss his tax reform plan at Thornton Academy in Saco.
Portland Press Herald—Press Herald via Getty Images

Governor of Maine

“I think he could be one of the greatest presidents if he sits down and puts together a good team.” (Feb. 26)

Ranking: Yuuge

Rick Scott

Florida Gov. Rick Scott as he visits the Marian Center which offers services for people with intellectual disabilities on July 13, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Governor of Florida

“The voters are speaking clearly—they want a businessman outsider who will dramatically shake up the status quo in Washington.” (March 16)

Rating: Yuuge

Chris Christie

Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie waves to the crowd as they walk off the stage after a rally at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C., March 14, 2016.
Chuck Burton—AP

Governor of New Jersey

“There is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs both at home and around the world than Donald Trump.” (Feb. 26)

Rating: Yuuge

Jeff Sessions

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, stands next to Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., as Sessions speaks during a rally Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, in Madison, Ala.
John Bazemore—AP

U.S. Senator from Alabama

“I can tell you one thing, I think at this time in my opinion, my best judgment, at this time in America’s history, we need to make America great again!” (Feb. 28)

Rating: Yuuge


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