Senate Majority Mitch McConnell fears Donald Trump could so alienate Latino voters that the GOP could see a Barry Goldwater-scale loss in November.
McConnell's new book is "The Long Game: A Memoir."
McConnell's book includes a picture with 1964 GOP presidential candidate Goldwater. He said that he eventually did not vote for Goldwater because he did not support the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which was signed by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson.
"There were a lot of other virtues — and in many ways I hated what happened in Johnson's second term, but it did define our party for at least African-American voters," McConnell told CNN's Jake Tapper Thursday. "We've never been able to get them back.
"I think it was a defining moment for Republicans going back to the Civil War."
He added that Donald Trump risks alienating Hispanics as Goldwater did to blacks.
"The attacks that he's routinely engaged in — for example, going after Susana Martinez, the Republican governor of New Mexico — I think was a big mistake," McConnell said.
Martinez, the nation's only Hispanic female governor, came under fire from Trump last week after she snubbed him before he spoke at a rally in Albuquerque. She also chairs the Republican Governors Association.
"What he ought to be doing is trying to unify the party, not attacking people," McConnell said. "Once you've won, it's a time to bring the party together and be gracious.
"I don't agree with everything that Trump does or says, but we have a choice: a choice between two very unpopular candidates."
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