Thursday on CNN’s “New Day,” network correspondent Chris Frates rolled out a montage of Republicans critical of party presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
Among those Republicans included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Tim Scott (R-SC), Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Bill Flores (R-TX), and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Partial transcript as follows:
CUOMO: CNN’s Chris Frates is live in Washington with more. Mr. Frates, what do you have?
FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Chris.
Well, you know many Republicans have long feared that Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric would derail his campaign, and now with some Republicans calling his recent comments about a federal judge downright racist, they’re sounding the alarm that, if he doesn’t tone it down, he’s only helping to put Hillary Clinton in the White House.
SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: He won’t be in the White House if he continues to make these kind of statements.
FRATES (voice-over): Warnings of a loss in November are coming from Donald Trump’s own party.
MCCONNELL: And if he wants to win the election, he needs to quit these gratuitous attacks on various Americans.
FRATES: The presumptive GOP nominee is enraging and dividing the GOP after days of his attacks on federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s Mexican heritage.
TRUMP: He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico.
FRATES: Trump’s toned-down speech earlier this week…
TRUMP: I understand the responsibility of carrying the mantle.
FRATES: … was a step in the right direction for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
MCCONNELL: Maybe using a prepared text and not attacking any other Americans was a good start.
FRATES: But congressional Republicans are divided. Some are supporting the presumptive nominee.
SEN. TIM SCOTT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think he’s done a good job in the last 24 hours of realizing the impact of those comments.
FRATES: Some are riding the “never Trump” train.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His comments over the weekend are authenticating what I believe is the man’s core character.
FRATES: And still others are holding out for a kinder, gentler real- estate billionaire.
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILLINOIS: He needs to begin to sound presidential.
REP. BILL FLORES (R), TEXAS: I’ve got to see that he’s going to start addressing the issues of the country instead of bashing judges.
FRATES: House Speaker Paul Ryan is trying to keep the party unified behind their new standard bearer, reiterating his support for Trump in a closed-door meeting Wednesday, asking his colleagues to unite, even after he strongly criticized Trump’s comments.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Claiming a person can’t do the job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment.
FRATES: Meanwhile, Democrats are uniting behind Hillary Clinton.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: What does Trump do?
FRATES: Senator Elizabeth Warren set to attack Trump with her harshest language yet in a speech later today, saying “Donald Trump is a loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud who has never risked anything for anyone and serves nobody but himself. And that is just one of the many reasons why he will never be president of the United States.”
FRATES: In an interview with “TIME” magazine, Trump said he was disappointed and surprised by the backlash from Republican leaders to his comments about that federal judge hearing a lawsuit against him. But Trump says Republicans have to say what they have to say, noting that he’s a big boy who can take the criticism, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Chris. Thanks so much for all of that.
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