Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to say if Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump is qualified to be president, dodging the question and stating instead that he'll "leave that to the American people to decide."
Appearing on ABC News' "This Week,"
McConnell said "there's no question that he's made a number of mistakes over the last few weeks. I think they're beginning to right the ship. It's a long time until November. And the burden, obviously, will be on him to convince people that he can handle this job."
When pressed to state whether Trump is qualified to be president, the Republican senator refused to do so, saying "The American people will be able to make that decision in the fall … He won the Republican nomination fair and square. He got more votes than anybody else against a whole lot of well qualified candidates. And so our primary voters have made their decision as to who they want to be the nominee."
McConnell did express concern about the approximately $100 million money deficit that Trump faces compared to what Democrat Hillary Clinton has available, stating clearly that he could not win without more funds.
However, he did sound an optimistic note, saying, "I hope he won't have that kind of money deficit come fall. There's a lot of work to be done to turn the campaign in a different direction. And one of the obvious flaws at the moment is cash on hand. He needs to catch up and catch up fast."
McConnell also addressed concerns that Trump would not faithfully represent conservative principles, saying that “If you look at the platform that will be written at our convention, we are not changing the basic principles that Republicans believe in. Our nominee may not agree with every single one of them, but the Republican Party will remain America's conservative party … I don't expect it to differ that much from the platform we had four years ago."
In an earlier interview with CNN
, McConnell stressed that Clinton needs to be defeated so that she won’t be able to continue what he called the disastrous legacy of the Obama administration.
"Trump has an opportunity to be the change agent, to take America to a different place, but in order to succeed in doing that, he needs to run a credible, thoughtful campaign and demonstrate the seriousness that people expect from their president,” McConnell said.
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