Now that the Electoral College has met and given the presidency to Donald J. Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has admitted that throughout the campaign, he thought Trump had no chance to win the White House.
“I didn’t think President Trump had a chance at winning,” McConnell told the host of Kentucky Education Television’s One to One on December 19. “It never occurred to me that he might be able to win.”
But McConnell was complimentary of Trump, noting that the real estate mogul was able to reach voters who felt ignored by President Obama, the Democrat Party, and Hillary Clinton.
“I think that there was a lot of feeling among just ordinary people all across the country that the current administration didn’t care about them,” McConnell noted.
McConnell appeared to have believed the early conventional wisdom that the billionaire Trump could never relate to the common American voter.
“Trump was able to convey — oddly enough, a message from a billionaire who lives in Manhattan — a genuine concern for people who feel kind of left out, are sort of offended by all the political correctness they see around them, and didn’t feel like this is the America that they’re accustomed to,” McConnell said.
The Senate majority leader also said he was amazed at how well Trump was able to breach Hillary Clinton’s so-called “blue wall” of support in generally Democrat states, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Along with his assumption that Trump would lose the White House, McConnell also said he thought that Republicans would lose control of the Senate. But as Election Day ended, the GOP still held the Senate by a 52-seat majority, with the Democrat Party only gaining two of the five seats it needed to flip the Senate to their control.
In the weeks prior to the election, Democrat House Leader Nancy Pelosi noted that both GOP Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Leader McConnell were essentially admitting they thought Trump could not win by announcing their plans to continue a policy of “checks and balances” as they prepared for a President Hillary Clinton.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.