Trump support shrinking on Capitol Hill
Many elected Republicans were unimpressed with his attempt to walk back criticism of a judge because of his Mexican descent.By Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kim, Politico.com
06/08/16 05:38 PM EDT
As Donald Trump’s attacks on a federal judge settled over Capitol Hill like a dark cloud on Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions dialed up Trump’s campaign to relay mounting alarm among elected Republicans about the presumptive nominee’s assaults on a jurist because of his Mexican roots.
Trump tried to calm the waters a few hours later, issuing a statement that blamed the media and delivering a speech that skirted the issue altogether. But the non-apology walkback failed to placate many elected Republicans, who said in interviews Wednesday that the GOP standard-bearer has a ways to go to show the restraint and discipline it will take to win the presidency and keep Republicans from a down-ballot disaster in November.
The anti-Trump movement is now growing rather than shrinking: At least eight GOP senators either won’t vote for Trump or have declined to back him publicly. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Bill Flores of Texas, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee, both said Wednesday they weren’t ready to get on board, either.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H) wanted a retraction from Trump, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was looking for an apology. Instead, Trump continued to question whether District Judge Gonzalo Curiel could give him a fair hearing in a Trump University fraud lawsuit, then declared the matter settled and that he wouldn’t discuss it anymore.
That’s not how even his supporters on Capitol Hill view things.