The political winds that blew Donald Trump into role of GOP presidential front-runner began swirling in 2013 when the group of senators known as the Gang of Eight drafted their sweeping immigration reform bill, Stephen Miller, senior policy adviser for the Trump campaign, tells Newsmax TV
"Much of this discontent really began growing profoundly in 2013 when eight senators got together and what did they do? They defied the will of every single GOP voter," Miller said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."
"[They tried to] push through the biggest amnesty bill in history. It's interesting to be diagnosing bitter discontent when you're one of those eight senators."
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The liberal bill, which would have granted a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., went nowhere.
Two of the bipartisan Gang of Eight were Sens. Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, both of whom entered the race for the Republican nomination and have since dropped out for lack of support.
Rubio, who later disowned the Gang of Eight bill bid adieu on Tuesday following his trouncing by Trump in his home state.
"We've had a very successful week in the delegate count and in the state victories and of course a very, very historic win in Florida," Miller said.
"There's a lot of Rubio supporters, a lot of voters out there who cast ballots for [Rubio] and we welcome them to our team and we welcome their votes. We encourage them to vote for us.
"If you look at the discontent amongst Republican voters, it is driven by policy disagreements between voters and donors/leaders. We would like as voters to have a trade policy that keeps manufacturing jobs in the United States. Donors and leaders have pushed for off shore U.S. jobs."
On immigration policy, jobs and wages should be a priority for Americans first, he said.
Miller said Americans believe the GOP is afraid of change.
"Never in my life, and people older than me would probably say never in their lives, have they ever seen a political party so afraid of growing. I mean we're talking about being able to compete in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, states the GOP historically has had a very hard time winning," Miller said.
"If they're ever going to do that it's by reaching blue collar voters. It's amazing to see all these people terrified of growing in the party."
He said the political rank-and-file is worried about their gravy train ending.
"While the economy has been terrible out there for many of your listeners, it's been great for the political class in Washington, D.C.," Miller told Malzberg.
"I know because I've worked with these people and they're worried about the gravy train getting shut down and that's what we're seeing."
Miller hedged when asked if the campaign was mulling a deal with Ohio Gov. John Kasich or Sen. Ted Cruz to combine delegates to assure Trump the nomination.
"At this point we're just focused on winning the 1,237 [delegates needed to win the nomination] … We're entering a section of the race where there's a lot of huge states that are going to be very favorable to Mr. Trump, New York and New Jersey," he said.
"There's nothing to rule in and there's nothing to rule out. You're going to try to get as many delegates as you possibly can. You're going to try to get the 1,237 and then you get to the convention and you see where you are.
"I'll just tell everyone listening today if you want to break the control of the Democrats in Washington, D.C., and put you and your family back in charge, help get out votes, organize your friends, organize your family and let's get to 1,237."
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