Friday on CNN’s “The Lead,” Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who has made numerous negative statements about likely presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said he would vote for Trump because he is on top of the Republican ticket, but he acknowledges the split between Republicans over supporting Trump is a “crisis” in the party.
King said, “Well first of all, I made it clear that I would support the nominee of the party, so I’m supporting him as the nominee, and I will vote for him. However, I’ve also said that I will not be able to campaign for him or be part of his campaign effort unless he somehow consolidates or gives some coherence to his statements.”
“I want to stay active in the Republican Party as we go forward,” he continued. “If I’m going to do that, I have an obligation to support the nominee of the party, but also an obligation not to be defending policies that i don’t agree with. But I am a Republican. I believe in the two-party system. And again this is a close call, but I feel to stay within the party and to have a role to play and to try to frame the policies, I have to endorse the nominee of the party, but not with enthusiasm and, as I’ve said, I will not campaign or be involved in the campaign unless some of his key positions, particularly on national and homeland security, change.”
When asked if Jeb Bush and previous Republican presidents, George W. Bush, and George H.W. Bush not supporting Trump means there is a crisis within the Republican party, King said, “Yes. The names you mentioned, Jeb Bush, Bush 41, President Bush 43, are outstanding presidents. Jeb Bush would have been my first choice for president this year. I mean there is — there is a real — yeah it is a crisis we’re going through. On the other hand, you have Dick Cheney and Rudy Giuliani, Governor Perry, who are supporting Donald Trump at this stage, and I think we have to decide as a party. That’s why I want to play a role as we go forward. I don’t want to take myself out of the game, if you will, as we go forward, as we define our party, because what Donald Trump has done has really reversed Republican policies on trade, on foreign policy, on domestic policy, and these are really key significant changes.”
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