Donald Trump is a "different kind of candidate" than what Americans are accustomed to, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday, but he does think the presumptive GOP nominee should tone down his attacks and stay on script.
"I thought it was unfortunate and unnecessary for our nominee to attack the governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez," the Kentucky Republican told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on the "Andrea Mitchell Reports"
program. "I think these attacks don't serve the candidate very well at this point. We ought to be trying to unify the party behind him. Most of us are committed to supporting him and trying to bring the party together and I think he needs to play his role on all of that as well."
McConnell, who has said he will vote for Trump as the eventual nominee, years ago voted against Republican nominee Barry Goldwater because of his stance on civil rights and is now worried about the party losing Hispanic voters.
"I agreed with [Goldwater] on almost everything because I thought he was wrong on the principal issue of that era, the Civil Rights Act of 1964," said McConnell. "My party had been struggling with African-American voters ever since. I don't want to see that mistake made with Hispanics."
For the Republican Party to be competitive, he said, "we have to be able to reach out to all kinds of people. When [Ronald] Reagan was elected in 1980, 84 percent of Americans were white. This November, it will be 70 percent . . . to win the White House, we need to appeal a broader electorate."
And McConnell said he has another way he'd like to see Trump change: He wants him to stay on script.
He said a few weeks ago, he and Trump were together at the National Rifle Association's convention in Louisville, Ky. and were talking in the event's Green Room, when he asked Trump if he had a script.
"He took it out of his pocket, and I said 'Are you going to use it?' He said 'I hate scripts, they're so boring.' I said 'Put me down in favor of boring. I think you are good at entertaining large audiences and you have a lot of Twitter followers and that’s gotten you to where you are today. But I am in favor of more script and more boring if you will.'"
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