Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who has been sternly critical of Donald Trump and has not endorsed him, said Wednesday he would vote for the party's vice presidential pick Mike Pence in a "heartbeat" if he was on top of the ticket.
The lawmaker, an Afghanistan and Iraq war veteran, praised the Indiana governor for having his "head in the right place" about foreign policy – particularly about Russia's role in Syria – Kinzinger told CNN's "The Situation Room."
And when reminded of his own reluctance to endorse Trump and whether he would cast a ballot for Pence if he were the presidential nominee, Kinzinger replied: "Oh yeah in a heartbeat, in a second."
"I served with him for a couple years in the House, he's a fantastic guy who has his head in the right spot," he added. "If he should ever be called upon to be president, I think he would do a fantastic job."
Kinzinger conceded Pence's performance at the vice presidential debate was so stellar, it had managed to alleviate some of his concerns about Trump, though he wouldn't say if he would yet endorse him.
"If I'm Donald Trump, I'm taking lessons now from how Pence performed and the rave reviews he got, and I’m going to try to model my town hall appearance after that," Kinzinger said.
“I thought what Pence said yesterday was emblematic of where America needs to be and frankly [Sen. Tim] Kaine agreed with it," Kinzinger said, referring to Pence's remarks on their strategy for standing up to Russia in Syria.
Pence, during the debate Tuesday night, called Russia's President Vladimir Putin "the small and bullying Russian leader," and called for the United States to create "safe zones" protecting Syrian civilians so will "be prepared to use military force" against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"The cost of inaction [is] . . . only going to get worse," he added, saying Trump's foreign policy has been "why I've been reticent about the ticket."
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