- REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is worried that Donald Trump could drive Latinos away from the Republican Party forever.
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday, the Kentucky senator called Trump’s anti-Latino rhetoric “a big mistake,” citing the presumptive Republican nominee’s recent criticism of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.
“What he ought to be doing now is trying to unify the party, and I think attacking people once you have won, it’s a time to be gracious and try to bring the party together.”
In an interview with Business Insider on Tuesday, McConnell said Trump should “put aside all the score settling.”
While discussing Trump’s effect on Latino voters, McConnell said the GOP nominee could have a similar impact on the group as 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater had on black voters.
Goldwater, a senator from Arizona, had voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, leading many black voters to distance themselves from the party in what McConnell called a “defining moment” for the GOP.
“That was a complete shift that occurred that year, and we’ve never been able to get them back,” he said.
Despite saying he disagreed with Trump on some issues, including Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the US, McConnell said he will still vote for him.