"I saw what the American public was saying," Long said. "I was afraid [those in the Republican establishment] were going to try and steal it from Trump. This is the same brain trust that gave us President Dole, President McCain and President Romney."
After seeing the huge crowds Trump was attracting and sensing the country's mood, Long, who never officially endorsed anyone, said he decided early on he would not endorse anyone. Yet he boosted Trump in conversations with people, wrote supportive op-eds and encouraged colleagues to do so.