Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said “he’s not going to get into” 2016, but he appeared to signal he wants someone other than the current GOP front-runner Donald Trump to win the nomination.
The Kentucky senator said in an interview with Kentucky television station WHAS11 posted Saturday that he’s increasingly optimistic that there “may actually be a second ballot” at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
McConnell pointed to the current Republican National Committee rules requiring a candidate to win the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination.
“When a nominee gets to 1,237 he will actually be the candidate. If he doesn’t, there will be a second ballot. And about 60% of the delegates who are bound on the first ballot will be free to do what they want to on a second ballot,” he said. “And I’m increasingly optimistic that there may actually be a second ballot.”
Without naming Donald Trump, McConnell mentioned that “some candidates” complained it is “somehow tricky to follow the rules of the convention” but he said, “Qe are going to follow the rules of the convention.”
The Senate GOP leader also mentioned he will play a role in voting for his party’s nominee.
“I hope I will be a delegate, I think I will be — from Kentucky — and on the second ballot I’ll be free to do whatever I want to,” McConnell said.
Asked if GOP candidate Ted Cruz, a Texas senator, owed him an apology for calling him a liar on the Senate floor, McConnell took a pass, saying he would not comment on the 2016 field.
By Deirdre Walsh, CNN Senior Congressional Producer