By ASHLEY PARKER, MAGGIE HABERMAN AND JONATHAN MARTIN
Gov. Mike Pence, aligning himself with the Republican establishment rather than his running mate, broke with Donald J. Trumpon Wednesday by endorsingSpeaker Paul D. Ryan’s re-election bid, a day after Mr. Trump roiled the party by declaring that he was not yet ready to support the speaker.
“I strongly endorse his re-election,” Mr. Pence, of Indiana, said in an interview with Fox News. “He’s a longtime friend, he’s a strong conservative leader.”
The split between the two members of the Republican ticket over whether to endorse the speaker of the House in his own primary illustrated the party’s glaring divisions. Republican officials are nearing a state of panic as Mr. Trump’s near-daily provocations divert attention from the perceived vulnerabilities of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
“If he makes himself the issue, we’re going to lose,” said Henry Barbour, a Republican National Committee member from Mississippi and a top lieutenant toReince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee.
But Mr. Trump is plainly angry that Mr. Ryan continues to criticize him for his inflammatory remarks. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said “I’m just not quite there yet” when asked in an interview with The Washington Post if he was supporting Mr. Ryan’s re-election.
In a phone conversation between Mr. Pence and Mr. Trump on Wednesday morning, according to someone with knowledge of the call, Mr. Trump brought up his Washington Post interview. Mr. Pence, who served in the House with Mr. Ryan, said that while he understood where Mr. Trump was coming from, he personally was inclined to support Mr. Ryan. Mr. Trump agreed that he should.
The speaker is facing a primary challenge in Wisconsin on Tuesday from a businessman, Paul Nehlen, who is running on a populist platform similar to Mr. Trump’s.
Mr. Trump’s missteps in the weeks since the Republican convention have spurred a degree of open criticism among otherwise supportive party officials rarely seen since he secured enough delegates for the nomination in May.
On the Trail
Mrs. Clinton will speak in Las Vegas on the economy, while Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia addresses the National Urban League conference in Baltimore.
Mr. Trump holds a rally in Maine, a state that The Times’s Electoral Map projects as leaning toward Mrs. Clinton, while Mr. Pence will hold town-hall-style events in Raleigh, N.C., and Virginia Beach, both cities in swing states, with a rally in Norfolk, Va.
President Obama will lead a National Security Council meeting at the Pentagon about the campaign against the Islamic State and will hold a news conference afterward.