Amid fragmented GOP support of presumptive presidential candidate nominee Donald Trump, Senior Kentucky Senator to the U.S. Congress and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared on ABC’s This Week this morning. George Stephanopoulos asked McConnell whether he believes Trump is qualified to hold the office of President of the United States. He responded with comments that did not address the question. When pressed to answer the question again, he would not state his view. George asked the following question.
“You just heard those new poll numbers. 64% of Americans say they don’t think Donald Trump is qualified to be president. Do you believe he’s qualified, and how do you convince all those voters who think he isn’t?”
McConnell’s answer included remarks that Trump has made some mistakes, but that things seem to be on course and there’s a lot of time between now and November to win more votes. He praised Donald Trump’s recent changes in his campaign, which include firing his campaign manager and beginning to make speeches using a teleprompter instead of doing them off the cuff as he has done previously. Stephanopouos responded with, “I didn’t hear you say whether you thought he was qualified.” The senior senator delivered the following answer.
“Look, that will be up to the American people to decide… our primary voters have made their decision as to who they want to be their nominee. The American people will be able to make that decision in the fall.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 26, 2016
When asked about differences between the platform of the Republican Party and some of Donald Trump’s ideas that seem to go against its grain, McConnell provided some reassurance to those who may be concerned. He stated that this year’s platform would align with basic Republican beliefs, adding that “Our nominee [Donald Trump] may not agree with every single one of those.”
Does that mean that the GOP will not write in some of Donald Trump’s more controversial stances like banning Muslims or conducting mass deportations? He didn’t directly answer that question, either. Regarding these ideas that have alienated Trump from some Republicans, the Kentucky senator said that the party’s platform in this year’s convention will be “not all that different from the one we had four years ago.”
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) June 26, 2016
In early May, as reported by Huffington Post, Mitch McConnell announced that he would support Donald Trump and encouraged the rest of his party to do the same. He issued a statement which said the following.
“I have committed to supporting the nominee chosen by Republican voters, and Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee is now on the verge of clinching that nomination… Republicans are committed to preventing what would be a third term of Barack Obama and restoring economic and national security after eight years of a Democrat in the White House… As the presumptive nominee, he now has the opportunity and the obligation to unite our party around our goals.”
It’s a statement that was widely seen as not so much a declaration of support for Donald Trump as it was a declaration of support for keeping a Democrat out of the White House. Trump has stirred things up among Republicans, with many left with the dilemma of not being comfortable with endorsing or supporting someone with whom they strongly disagree on some key issues but also not wanting to vote for a Democrat. Mary Matalin left the GOP, a move believed by many to be because of Trump, and this week George Will announced that he is leaving the GOP because Donald Trump doesn’t represent his party.
Because of a lack of party unity behind Donald Trump, the current financial state of his campaign has come into question. Recent reports indicate that Hillary Clinton’s campaign has a much larger amount of cash on hand than Trump’s campaign does. Trump supporters worry that without full support of the Republican party, and the uphill fight for campaign funds in which that results, Trump’s chances of winning the general election may dwindle.
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