Jeff Sessions on Paul Ryan’s Hesitation to Endorse Trump: ‘I Think This Was a Big Mistake’

Thursday on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the first sitting U.S. Senator to endorse likely presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, weighed in on the refusal and the reluctance of some Republican “leaders and establishment figures” to rally behind Trump.

Sessions explained that Trump’s message has resonated with the American people and that has led to Trump being on track to receiving more of the popular vote than any GOP presidential primary candidate in history.

“Well, he has certainly appealed to the American people,” Sessions said. “And I think certain Republican leaders and establishment figures need to ask themselves how it is with the process not even over, he’s gotten more votes than any other Republican primary candidate in history, who is talking directly to the American people — their concerns about trade, about immigration, about a foreign policy that was restrained. All of those are conservative values, Lou. It’s conservative to want a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest. It’s conservative to favor a trade policy that defends American manufacturing and workers’ jobs and wages, and to have a foreign policy that’s restrained.”

Host Lou Dobbs asked Sessions specifically about House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) not coming out to endorse Trump yet, to which Sessions called it a “big mistake.”

“Well, the Speaker of the House is a big leader, and an important figure in the Republican Party,” Sessions said. “He calls on House members every day to stand with him in unity and he needs to set a good example for Republicans. I think this was a big mistake. I really do and I’m really surprised, frankly, since he’d indicated he’d support whoever the nominee was.”

“We need leadership that says — it favors the American worker who listens to their concerns for a change, and they have legitimate concerns,” Sessions added. “Trump has been strong and clear. He’s had the courage to take on the establishment, and some of them having difficulty dealing with his big victory so far.”

Sessions went on to say that he was reaching out on Trump’s behalf to leaders in Washington, but added that endorsements don’t necessarily translate into votes.

“Well, you know, we need to reach out, and I’m working and others are right now to talk to leaders within Washington and other areas,” Sessions said. “But you know, Ryan was right about one thing, he only has one vote. The vote of the American people that are going inside the next election. And people with the most endorsements have pretty much gotten the lowest votes so far.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor