Sen. Bob Corker, who has been supportive of Donald Trump, says the presumptive Republican nominee's comments on Judge Gonzalo Curiel illustrate how he has so far missed opportunities to demonstrate that he is capable of being a presidential candidate people can rally around.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe,"
Corker criticized Trump for saying that Curiel's Mexican-American heritage has influenced his rulings on the Trump University case because of Trump's campaign pledge to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Tennessee senator emphasized that "to say that somebody because of their background or their ethnicity… doesn't have the ability to carry something out is wrong. That's not where we are in our country."
Corker, who is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said, however, it is still not too late for Trump to appeal to a general electorate.
"So many people would relish being in the position that Donald Trump is in where he has a chance to change the trajectory of our nation," Corker said. "And so he has within his fingertips … the incredible opportunity that anyone who cares about our nation would relish having. To pivot and become the general election candidate that — by the way, there are armies of people that can help with Treasury functions, with foreign policy, with commerce, that would be willing to come in and help a candidate, let's face it, that hasn't fully formed views on numbers of topics."
Corker said that he has seen "this happen multiple times where candidates are frozen in the primary process and don't move ahead [to appeal to a general electorate].
"Time is running short, but he has time to do that," the senator said. "And you know, there's still five months or so until the general election ends. This is an important time as he moves towards the convention and he's looking at the types of people that he's going to bring around him."
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