The Rushmore Report: The One Reason Conservatives Must Stand by Trump

U.S. Senator John Cornyn, of Texas, said last week that he is continuing to support Donald Trump for president despite the release of a 2005 recording in which the GOP nominee brags about sexually assaulting women. “I’m going to continue to support the nominee of my party, recognizing that he’s made some bad mistakes,” said Cornyn. And then he highlighted the one reason that he, and all conservatives, must stand by Mr. Trump.

At a luncheon hosted by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, the senior senator said, “Obviously, many of us were offended by his comments and would hope that his apology is sincere and would move on from that. But this is just a strange election cycle.”

Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the upper chamber of Congress, said he is standing by Trump because he believes the GOP nominee will nominate more conservative justices to the Supreme Court than Democrat Hillary Clinton would.

“The most important issue in this presidential election is who’s going to nominate the next members of the Supreme Court. I don’t see Mrs. Clinton nominating the type of justice who is going to fill the role of Justice Scalia, for example,” Cornyn said.

Asked whether he believes Trump has the temperament to succeed in the other parts of the job, like being commander-in-chief of the military, Cornyn said that all presidents learn on the job, and Trump would, too.

“I have confidence that given the right sort of evidence and support by people like Mike Pence, who I think is an outstanding choice for vice president, that President Trump would do fine,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn’s unabashed support for Trump, and the quiet but unwavering support Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has offered, comes in stark contrast to how House Speaker Paul Ryan has handled Trump’s candidacy. Following the disclosure of the 2005 tape, Ryan has distanced himself from Trump and told House members that he will no longer campaign for him.

“He hasn’t asked for my help, and I continue to believe that my time is best used trying to help us maintain a majority in the Senate,” he said. “That has been my focus, to try to make sure that we continue to have a majority of the Senate to be able to set the agenda for the country and to serve as the check on whoever the next president may be.”

About the Author

Sean Collins Walsh is a staff writer for the American-Statesman newspaper, based in Austin, Texas.

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