Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Donald Trump needs to “quit making these outrageous statements” and focus on unifying the GOP around an economic message headed into November.
“This is the worst recovery after a deep recession since World War II. America ought to be growing about 3.5 to 4 percent annually. The president hasn’t had a single quarter of 3 percent growth. The growth last quarter was .5. Look at the horrible job report last week,” McConnell said on the Fox Business Network.
Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) slammed McConnell on the Senate floor Monday for not countering Trump enough, especially on his statements about not wanting a judge of Mexican heritage to preside in the Trump University fraud case.
“Well, he uttered a series of outrageous and unacceptable statements over the last week, and I addressed them at various points during the week. I think the less said about all that the better. What he ought to be working on is unifying the party and getting ready to try to defeat Hillary Clinton in the fall,” McConnell responded this morning. “…Harry sounds a lot like Donald Trump, doesn’t he? I think responding to Harry on a daily basis has never been a productive activity, and I choose not to do that.”
Asked if he had requested that Trump focus on the economy, the majority leader said “we are trying to get in line, but he keeps taking the subject away from unifying the party, which he needs to be doing right now by reaching out and bringing people with whom he competed, and talking about the issues the American people care about.”
“This slow growth, lack of opportunity economy that has been left behind after eight years of Barack Obama — that’s the fundamental issue before the American people, and our nominee for president needs to start talking about it… we suggested to him that that’s what he ought to do, so far he’s not going it.”
Despite that, McConnell said he’s “optimistic that we’re going to hold the Senate and the House, and we need to win the White House to finish the job.”
“We are all encouraging Donald Trump to quit the outrageous comments, to concentrate on unifying the party and talk about the issues that the American people are concerned about. The presidential candidates, that’s the tone for the party, he needs to change and go in a different direction if he’s going to win in November,” he added. “We are all giving him advice, both privately and publicly.”
On Fox Monday night, Trump focused largely on Judge Gonzalo Curiel after Bloomberg reported on a strategy call with surrogates and supporters in which the presumptive GOP nominee told everyone to intensify their attacks on the judge.
“I don’t care if the Judge is Mexican or not. I’m going to do great with the Mexican people because I provide jobs. So, I don’t care about the Mexican. But we are being treated unfairly,” Trump told Bill O’Reilly. “…I want to talk about how lousy the economy is. I want to talk about how badly we are doing against ISIS. How badly we are doing on the border. But every time I go on a show all they want to talk about is Trump University.”
Trump proceeded to talk about the university and the fraud case. “I don’t care if is he Mexican or not Mexican. I want him to be — all I want him to do is give me a fair shake. When we have thousands of people says it’s great, why does this thing continue to go forward.”