Election 2020

Policy Chairman 'Personally' Asked Trump to 'Embrace the Platform' and 'I Believe He Will'

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The chairman of the platform committee at the Republican National Convention says he’s spoken with Donald Trump about accepting the party platform — and feels confident the GOP frontrunner will embrace it.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the fourth-ranking Republican in the Senate and chairman of the GOP policy committee there, was selected by the Republican National Committee last week to lead the panel that will draft the GOP platform at the Columbus confab.

His co-chairs will be Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.).

Barrasso told ABC today that “the platform is about the core values of our party” and “is going to be focusing on growing the economy.”

“It’s who we are, it’s what we stand for, and I met with Donald Trump about it and he understands that the platform is very important to the Republican Party,” the senator said. “It’s going to be a conservative platform that’s going to be positive, optimistic, looking to the future, focused on things like jobs, the economy, and national security.”

What Trump “was focused on” with his proposal to bar Muslim immigration “is national security.”

“The platform is going to be something that all Republicans can be proud of and national security is going to be a big part of it,” Barrasso said.

GOP Senate leaders were critical of Trump’s proposal back in December, denouncing it as inconsistent with American values.

When pressed today about GOP leaders’ current feelings on the Muslim ban, Barrasso replied that the 112 members of the platform committee will meet for a week before the convention kicks off in July.

“And we’ve asked Donald Trump to allow the process to play out. He has agreed to do that. And I’ve asked him personally to embrace the platform and I believe he will. National security will be a big part of it,” he added.

Entitlement reform will likely be part of the platform, Barrasso said, and “immigration will be an important part of the platform.”

“The delegates will decide at the convention exactly how to deal with this. We talk about border security and whether that’s a physical wall on top of an electronic wall on top of e-verify to protect people in the workplace,” he said.

Asked whether that meant deporting all illegal immigrants currently in the country, Barrasso said “the platform committee is going to meet on talking about all of these things, and there’s going to be agreements with Donald Trump, there’s going to be disagreements.”

“The platform is the core values of the Republican Party and it will be reflected I believe in what we’re able to craft together,” he continued. “And, yes, we’re going to have to wait — work our way through the maze of the platform discussions, but the Democrats, they’re looking at having to work their way through a minefield, which could be explosive.”

“We are much more united as a party than the Democrats are; they are deeply divided and I believe we’re going to come out of Cleveland united so we can win in November and get the country headed in the right direction.”