McConnell: It might be Trump, Cruz, Kasich or 'anyone else'
WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he is "increasingly optimistic" that voting at the Republican National Convention in July will go to a second ballot, seeming to suggest he does not want to see Donald Trump become the nominee.
The Kentucky Republican has studiously sought to remain neutral in public, although he has on occasion condemned Trump's remarks and reportedly told senators in private earlier this year that down-ballot Republicans might drop Trump "like a hot rock."
"I'm increasingly optimistic that there actually may be a second ballot," McConnell said.He said it would then be up to Trump, challengers Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, "or anyone else," to make the electability argument.
"I want somebody who can win in November and the whole process is about trying to beat Hillary Clinton in November," he said. "And I think our delegates, if they end up actually having the latitude to make a decision, which would occur on the second and third ballot, are going to be interested in who can win."
McConnell said that he anticipates he himself will be a delegate, and "on the second ballot I'll be free to do whatever I want."