Where and what that line is, however, is unclear.
GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who disagrees with the proposal to bar Muslims, nevertheless said he would support Trump should he win the nomination. Could Trump say anything to change that? Yes.
“Sure there are things that he could say,” Rohrabacher said. He didn’t offer possibilities.
GOP Rep. Mark Meadows also thinks Trump’s proposal on Muslims is misguided.
“To suggest that we have a religious litmus test for access to this country is not what our founding fathers would have envisioned, nor is it something in keeping with who we are as a nation,” he said. At the moment, Meadows said he would support Trump if he’s the nominee, noting that it’s up to the voters to decide who leads the party in the general election.
Same question: Is there anything Trump could say or any line he could cross that would change that?
Another yes, again without specifics.
“Obviously it’s more where he is on positions than anything else. I certainly have my favorites to be the nominee. In answer to your question: Is there something that he could say? Yes. What that is, I don’t know,” Meadows said.
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz also disagreed with Trump’s proposal (“outright wrong” and “ridiculous” and “he should know better”). Chaffetz noted that he intends to support the ultimate GOP nominee, but said that willingness has its limits.
“I suppose there are things that people could do that would get me to that point,” Chaffetz said. “There is certain egregious behavior that really goes over the line.” Asked what going over the line would look like, Chaffetz declined to go into “hypotheticals.”
GOP Rep. John Duncan of Tennessee said that “I am going to support whoever is the GOP nominee.” But he didn’t endorse Trump’s call for a sweeping ban.
Asked if there’s anything Trump could say that would cause him to reconsider a willingness to back Trump should he win the nod, Duncan replied: “I am sure there is maybe something. But so far he is very popular in my district. In fact he came to Knoxville two or three weeks ago and drew one of the biggest crowds that I have ever seen.”
Across Capitol Hill, Sen. John Thune, a member of the GOP leadership team, said Trump’s comment was “not consistent with the values and beliefs that we hold as a nation.” But he said he will support whoever the eventual nominee is.
Could Trump do anything to change that? “That’s a very speculative field to go into,” said Thune, declining to get into “hypotheticals.”
“I think in the end we will nominate a candidate that can lead our party in the general election,” he said.