Iowa Rep. Steve King co-chaired Ted Cruz's campaign in Iowa, but said Thursday that it's important for Republicans to support the eventual nominee who comes out of the July party convention in Cleveland; between now and then, however, he'd like to see "our party heal together," noting that it will take Donald Trump to make that happen.
"I think Donald Trump needs to speak especially to moral conservatives, social conservatives, pro-life side, constitutionalists...he hasn't assured me yet he believes in those things deeply enough to drive them as president," King told MSNBC
's "Morning Joe" program.
And, he told the show, he'd suggest to Trump that he "reach out to conversatives. Start that process. Recognize you're not going to be elected president without it. If there were five to eight million that didn't come to the polls to vote for [Mitt] Romeny, there must be two to three times that many that need to be brought into the fold if we're going to prevent Hillary Clinton from making appointments to supreme court and the federal bench in its entirety."
Even though Cruz ran on the same message, his campaign failed, losing to Trump. The difference, King explained, is that Trump said he was going to change the nation's government.
"Maybe the people that were so strongly behind Trump, they said things are so bad we're happy to turn the bull into the China shop," said King. "If some of the dishes aren't broken when it's over, that's fine. We'll pick them up and wash them off and build a country behind that. Ted Cruz said, 'wait a minute, we have pillars of America. We need to restore them, build the country back on constitutional principles and exceptionalism with the tools we have.'"
King, however, said he doesn't know if the American public "has been well-educated enough about the history of the core values of America's exceptionalism to get there."
"I think Marco Rubio spoke well to American exceptionalism, and Ted Cruz spoke best to the principles that restore this country. I think people were more fed up than they were ready to reconstruct on the foundation that America has been built."
But Trump does hold some conservative views, King mentioned, using his immigration policy as an example.
"It may not agree with the Speaker of the House, but it does agree with the majority votes of the House of Representatives who have turned down and defunded every attempt by the president to reach outside the Constitution and open our borders and erode our immigration laws," said King.
"I would say I'll give him a conservative position on that. Then once we go down the line, I don't hear him speak about the Constitutional issues. I don't hear him speak about balancing the budget. These are conservative principles."
King said Trump though has not talked about balancing the nation's budget, but instead promised to protect entitlement program.s
"We're going to get to an economic place where the depth for every baby born in America will increase again at $60,000 today," said King.
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