House Republicans speak candidly about Trump

By Sarah B. Boxer

There are 247 Republicans in Congress.

As of now, six of them have endorsed Donald Trump for president.

Though the New York businessman has dominated the primary process and seems strongly poised to become the Republican Party’s nominee for president, Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric spoke to a group of GOP members of Congress who were candid about their concerns.

“I’d like to know plans,” said Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., lamenting Trump’s lack of specific policy positions. “If you’re going blow something up, I’d like to know how are you going blow it up? Are there any children in the building before you blow it up? What are you going to do once you blow it up?”

Black was also critical of the absence of “civility” in Trump’s rhetoric. “I have six grandchildren. And my grandchildren know that I don’t allow them to say some of the things that he says.”

Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., says that his constituents have asked him to be more fired up — in other words, mimic Trump’s tone. “I’ve had people say, ‘I agree with your voting record. But I just want you to be more angry about it.’”

Black, Huizenga, Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., and Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisc., all said they would support whoever the eventual party nominee is. But when pressed by Couric on some of Trump’s policy proposals — building a Mexico-funded wall, banning Muslims from entering the U.S., deporting undocumented immigrants and forcing Israel to pay for its defense aid — none agreed.

Huizenga finds solace in knowing that Trump would not be able to have a blank check to do whatever he wants, though. “At the end of the day, he’s going to have to get stuff through Congress, right? The House and the Senate, if he’s going to follow the Constitution. So he’s going to have to work with us.”

(None of the four have endorsed any of the remaining candidates. Huizenga and Duffy had backed Marco Rubio; Walters had endorsed Jeb Bush, then Rubio.)

Black and Duffy both disavowed the notion of finding a third-party candidate to challenge Trump if he is the nominee, which some conservatives have floated.

“That angers me, because I believe in the process,” said Duffy. “I believe that my constituents voted, and they have a right to have a say in who their nominee is. And I don’t think party elders should come in and try to dictate someone other than who our constituents and the American people voted for.”

As such, Duffy told Couric he was not enthused about the idea of a contested convention. Walters disagreed. “A contested convention will get people energized and enthused,” she said. “I think it would be great.”

“I think the person who’s going into the convention with the most amount of delegates has to participate in the process like every other candidate has to. That’s why we have the rules, so that we make it a fair process,” she said.

“It’s going to be raucous, though, if Donald Trump has the most votes and doesn’t get the nomination,” Duffy cautioned.

All four expressed frustration about being perceived as a do-nothing Congress. Couric asked why they continue to vote on repealing Obamacare without offering an alternative.

“It’s a fair criticism, Katie. It really is. I have been frustrated with my own leadership since I’ve been here as a nurse and having a medical background,” said Black. “There are a number of plans that are out there that we could have put forward. So I am frustrated with my own leadership that we have not done that.

“But we also haven’t been able to break through to get the American people to see the number of things we have done,” she continued. “We have cut the operating budget by 14 percent since we’ve been here. We are spending less money now than we did back in 2008 in the operating budget. But do we get that message out there? So the frustration I think comes in two ways. One is that we haven’t done I think enough. I will agree with that. Part of that is the frustration about what we have done — 300 bills that went over to the Senate, 98 percent of those were bipartisan. Do the American people really know that?”

WATCH full interview here: