Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the “poster boy” for Republican “spinelessness” toward Donald Trump, McConnell’s Democratic counterpart, Harry Reid, said on Monday.
Reid’s combativeness on the Senate floor amplified Democratic efforts to lash Trump to establishment Republicans squeamish about the businessman’s turbulent rise to GOP presidential nomination.
Trump’s brashness and inflammatory rhetoric resonates with core supporters, yet he remains unpopular with a broad section of the overall population — something Democrats hope to exploit in the White House race and in their efforts to regain control of Congress, especially the Senate.
Reid zeroed-in on McConnell, who says he’ll support the GOP’s nominee coming out of the July convention.
“Now there doesn’t appear to be any daylight between Donald Trump and Senator McConnell,” Reid, D-Nev., said on the Senate floor.
Reid said McConnell’s support for Trump was a “logical conclusion” of a GOP platform that he deemed “anti woman, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim, (and) anti-immigrant.”
Reid also highlighted the latest controversy around Trump stemming from his remarks by Trump that the judge handling a lawsuit against Trump University should recuse himself because of his Mexican heritage.
A handful of GOP senators have condemned those remarks, with Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., tweeting that the statements were racist. McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he disagreed with the statements, but declined to classify them as racist.
Reid read Sasse’s tweet on the floor and criticized Trump for dodging questions about whether the candidate’s remarks were racist.
“By refusing to denounce Trump’s attack on a federal judge for the racism it clearly connotes, it shows Senator McConnell is the poster boy for Republicans’ spinelessness that allowed Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee for President of the United States,” Reid said.
McConnell addressed Trump in a score of interviews last week while the Senate was on recess. He was promoting his new memoir, “The Long Game,” and faced questions about Trump’s effect on the Republican Party. In an interview with Roll Call, McConnell said he told Trump that there would not be a fight over the GOP platform at the Cleveland convention.