John Thune: I’d Like Trump To Support GOP Senators Calling on Roy Moore to Quit
WALLACE: President Trump has promised the American people a big, beautiful Christmas present in the form of major tax cuts. Can the GOP deliver or will the bill get stuck in the chimney?
Joining us from South Dakota to discuss that and much more, the number three Republican in the Senate, John Thune.
Senator, you said recently you thought that President Trump could be influential, your word, in getting Roy Moore to step down. But, as we have discussed today, the president is now siding with Judge Moore.
And, in fact, I want to put up a tweet that the president sent this morning. The last thing we need in Alabama, and the U.S. Senate, is a Schumer-Pelosi puppet who is weak on crime, weak on the border, bad for our military and her great vets, bad for our Second Amendment, and wants to raise taxes to the sky. Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate Doug Jones would be a disaster.
Senator, does that disappoint you where the president is now?
SEN. JOHN THUNE, R-S.D., REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE CHAIRMAN: Well, I would like to see the president, Chris, come out and support what many of us have said, and that is that Roy Moore it needs to step aside, allow somebody else to be a write-in candidate. We can win that seat.
He is right. If a Democrat wins, it’s going to be a vote for the Pelosi-Schumer agenda, which is going to be against tax reform, against constitutional judges, against smart borders.
But the other alternative is if Roy Moore wins and he comes into the Senate in January, there’s going to immediately be an ethics investigation, which is going to be a cloud that he’ll be operating in, and it’s going to be a distraction for us and for our agenda.
So, you know, ultimately the decision’s up to the people of Alabama, but it strikes me at least that it would be on their best interest and in the country’s best interest, and certainly the best interest of our agenda, if the president would use his influence to try to get Roy Moore to step aside.
WALLACE: So do you think the president has made a mistake in splitting with Senate leaders, like yourself and Senator McConnell, and going with Judge Moore?
THUNE: Well, I can’t — you know, the president obviously can speak for himself, but — and I think he sees the specter of a Democrat holding that seat and what that might mean for his agenda. But the alternative, as I said, isn’t good either, Chris.
And so, as far as I’m concerned, the president, to the degree that he wants to use his influence in this race, could, I think, help everybody out by doing what he can to try and get Roy Moore to step aside, which is what we believe is in the best interest, again, certainly of the country, certainly the president’s agenda, and I would argue for the people of Alabama, although I — like I said, that’s a decision that they — they make and they don’t care a lot what Washington, D.C., thinks.