But Portman — who spoke to reporters just minutes after fellow Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois rescinded his endorsement of Trump — refused to back away from Trump.
“I intend to support that Republican nominee,” he said. “I said that because you need to listen to voters.”
Portman, who is locked in a tight re-election bid against former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, was also asked if Trump’s controversial statements outweigh his positions on issues. Portman said he supports Trump’s support for rebuilding the military and believes Trump is the better option for “getting the country back on track in terms of economic growth.”
“I think it’s appropriate to support the Republican nominee,” he said. “The people have made his choice clear.”