The Republican Governors Association convened in Orlando, Florida this week, and while the governors were predictably excited about having a GOP president-elect in Donald Trump, there was reportedly an undercurrent of nervousness about the outsider, as well.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey expressed confidence during the conference, the Washington Post reported. "We’re headed in the right direction," Ducey said Wednesday. "I think there’s a road map."
Meanwhile, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who railed against Trump at times during the election cycle, made a 180-degree turn. She once argued Trump was "everything a governor doesn't want in a president," but expressed this week that she was "just giddy" about the new administration, the Post reported. Haley has been floated as Trump's possible pick for secretary of state.
While there have been bursts of happiness from the GOP governors, the conservative-leaning news outlet the Washington Examiner reported that "beneath the surface, anxiety about what lies ahead was palpable." That was apparently evident in comments from Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Trump's possible polices on immigration and trade, which could significantly hamper some states' economies and job prospects.
"We're dependent upon global trade," Hutchinson told the Examiner. "We don't want the nervousness abroad about the role that the United States will play. We need to have that clarity."
Trump has been slow to fill out his cabinet, and his stances appear to be ever-shifting, which leaves open a window of possibilities. The president-elect has said he plans to rework or walk away from trade agreements and has taken hard-line stances on immigration, suggesting the U.S. carry out mass deportations and create a registry for Muslim immigrants.
"There's some things that need to be disrupted," Hutchinson said to the Examiner. "I just hope that he picks and chooses wisely."
The Sacramento Bee noted that the 33 Republican governors could be Trump's "biggest headache" should they pull their support for his presidency in the event he become a political liability. The fresh election results have some of the governors accepting the president-elect — but still leaving distance to push away from his decisions if necessary.
Some of the Republican governors are apparently storing their faith in Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is a staunch conservative.
"Mike has a track record of political service, and 12 years in the Congress," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said on an Examiner podcast. "We also like the fact that he's been consistently conservative, he's not been all over the map on different issues. There's comfort in knowing what you're getting."
New York Times political correspondent Jonathan Martin noted on Twitter that this was the mindset of a lot of Republican leaders — they've decided to "act like Pence will set agenda" and "hope it comes true."