Even though Donald Trump raised questions about John McCain's war service earlier this summer, the veteran Arizona senator says he'll still support the New York real estate mogul's bid for the presidency should he win the GOP nomination.
"It's hard to predict because a lot of things happen between now and then, but I certainly would support the nominee, no matter who it is," the Arizona Republican, who was the GOP nominee in 2008, told The Hill.
And McCain's not the only Republican senator who plans to support whoever becomes the GOP nominee, even though some of them are reluctant about him.
"I can't see myself saying a Democratic candidate would be better for the country," said Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, where Gov. John Kasich is seeking office, also said he intends to support Trump if he's nominated.
"I guess you could come up with some scenario where something crazy could happen but I think the country's in trouble and I think if we don't have new leadership and new policies, it's hard to imagine it getting back on track," Portman told The Hill.
Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, meanwhile, said that he's always supported the GOP
nominee, but "that's as far as I'm going on presidential politics."
Trump hasn't yet gotten any official endorsements from any senators, even though Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, who attended a Trump rally in Alabama, was seen wearing one of Trump's signature "Make America Great Again" ball caps. He also met with Trump last week, but said they discussed issues such as immigration.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, though, has already endorsed his fellow Kentucky Republican senator, Rand Paul, R-Ky., for president.
However, many senators are waiting to endorse anyone until the 17-candidate field shakes out some more. A Senate Republican aide commented that "Trump will start getting more endorsements as we get deeper into the process. It's so volatile that people are sitting on the sidelines."
The party loyalty isn't stretching to all of the candidates however, despite their signing a pledge with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus last month that says they won't launch third-party campaigns should they lose the nomination.
On Sunday, former New York Gov. George Pataki started a Twitter battle
with Trump, saying he wouldn't vote for Trump, the current front-runner, if he gets the nomination. He urged other candidates to join him in a reverse-loyalty pledge.
Pataki, who is placing near the bottom of all national polls, had also told Newsmax TV
on Friday that even though he'd signed the loyalty pledge, he would not vote for Trump.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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