Former Sen. Bob Dole, who has long bucked Republican orthodoxy, did it again. Dissenting from the fevered insistence by Republican establishment figures and conservative intellectuals that Trump is a crypto-fascist and catastrophic presidential standard bearer Dole said he can win in November.
At the re-opening of the Watergate Hotel and apartment complex Tuesday, where Dole lives, he told New York Post gossip doyenne Cindy Adams that, “I’ve spoken with Donald Trump. Once he called me, once I called him. I like him. Two weeks ago, I said I’d be his senior adviser — but to be president of the United States, he has to tone it down. Getting things done in Washington means working with both sides of the House.”
“Both candidates are flawed. But this is the year to run. Sound bites are easy. Problem is, you have to back them up. Donald needs solid people. He’s never been in politics, but he can do it.”
“I’m going to the convention. My friends want me to be there,” he continued. “Donald’s got a big following. Republicans like the guy but feel he’s gone too far. He can win. He’s just got to tone it down.”
Dole endorsed Trump last month, calling for Republicans to “unite as a party to defeat Hillary Clinton.”
But his statement lacked the enthusiasm or victory prediction he offered Tuesday. Dole simply said that the preference of Republican voters should be “honored.”