Republican Congressman Steve King will support Donald Trump if Trump winds up being the GOP’s 2016 presidential nominee.
“We need to nominate a presidential candidate by the rules of the Republican Party and then, if we do so, then we need to support that nominee,” King told Radio Iowa. “I’m like John Kasich, though, and I’ll say that sometimes Trump makes it hard.”
King endorsed Ted Cruz late last year and he’s not conceeding Cruz can’t win.
“I see a path for Ted Cruz that is not as clear as it would be for Donald Trump,” King said. “But we’ve watched as Trump’s numbers have flattened out.”
King said it would be “logical” for Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich to drop out of the race now, but King is not calling for that because he said it’s a “very personal decision” that involves the candidates’ families and key supporters.
“There are check writers out there that are holding their checkbook and saying: ‘I’m ready to send some good money after bad. Why don’t you stay in and we’ll give it another go?’ because they want to preserve their investment and they believe in the candidate,” King said.
According to King, the grassroots volunteers who are knocking on doors and making phone calls for Rubio and Kasich also want the two to stay in the race “for the long haul.”
King, though, has a warning for those in the Republican Party who are hoping for a “brokered convention” that would hand the nomination to Rubio or Kasich.
“If Trump and Cruz arrive with the lion’s share of the delegates and not the 1237 necessary to win the nomination and the convention thinkers and organizers decide they want to serve up the nomination to someone other than Trump or Cruz, it seems to me there would be a major blow up take place,” King said during an interview with Radio Iowa.
King has his own history with nominating conventions. In 2002, King finished ahead of three other competitors in a Republican Primary for one of Iowa’s seats in congress, but King didn’t cross the necessary 35 percent threshold to win the nomination outright. There was a district convention held in Denison and King won on the third ballot.
Republicans in Iowa’s third congressional district held a nomination convention in 2014 and chose David Young, the fifth place candidate in the primary voting, to be the GOP nominee. Young went on to beat his Democratic opponent in November of 2014.