Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is usually loath to discuss the presidential race, but Thursday evening he made an exception, raising the possibility of a contested GOP convention.
“Boy, would it be interesting,” the Kentucky Republican said in an interview with 840 WHAS radio in Louisville, Ky.
He reiterated his position that he will support the eventual Republican nominee, even if it is Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who essentially called McConnell a liar on the Senate floor.
“Sure,” McConnell said when asked if he could broker peace with Cruz. “I’m going to support the nominee.”
While McConnell said he sees Cruz when the Texas Republican returns to the Senate, he indicated he has spoken with GOP front-runner Donald Trump on the phone more than once.
“He called me. He does from time to time,” McConnell said. The majority leader said he told Trump, “He ought to pretty aggressively condemn violence, no matter who starts the fight.”
Speculation has mounted that no candidate would secure the magic number of 1,237 delegates before the convention. And Trump suggested there would be riots if he goes into the July meeting in Cleveland with the most delegates but does not emerge with the nomination.
“He’s an interesting man,” McConnell said in response to Trump’s comments, “but I think we need to quit talking about riots.”
McConnell also squashed questions about “secret meetings” among establishment Republicans to try and sway the results of the primary.
“There aren’t any,” McConnell said. “There are plenty of meetings that I go to and everybody’s talking about presidential politics. There is no way to orchestrate the outcome. The whole process is pretty open.”
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