MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Donald Trump is adding a new endorsement to his South Carolina team: former South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer.
Speaking exclusively to NBC News, Bauer said that Trump “more than any other candidate has tapped into the heartbeat of America.” He continued: "he’s been able to tap into where people are frustrated, they’re concerned, they’re disappointed with where their government's taking them, and they want something drastically different than what they’ve been offered.”
The Trump campaign told NBC News the endorsement is “a real honor!”
The former lieutenant governor joins the ranks of current South Carolina Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, who endorsed Trump in January. This latest endorsement comes as South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley throws her support behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. All three ran for governor in 2010 with both men eventually losing to Haley.
For Bauer, who says he doesn’t agree with Trump on every policy, it’s less about falling in lock step with one person and more about Trump’s ability to take on the establishment class. “More than anything, I like him taking on the establishment, whether it be in business or whether it be in politics,” he said.
"I don’t have to agree with a candidate on every issue - and I don’t - but I see enough in someone willing to take on the establishment and take on some of the tough issues that quite frankly have become politically too sensitive for most candidates to talk about. We’re engaging in those discussions again, which is healthy for the process.”
When asked what those differences in opinion might be, Bauer said that he didn’t have one issue but that people have a difference in opinion as to what “government’s real fiduciary responsibility is.”
As for Trump’s prospects in South Carolina, Bauer says Trump will do “extremely well” Saturday, noting his popularity in the state and predicting a “large margin” of victory.
Bauer served as lieutenant governor of South Carolina from 2003 until 2011, in the S.C. House prior to that. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010, losing in the primary. During that run, Bauer received the endorsement of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.