Mitch can’t be Trump-free


There’s a really bad word that Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is trying to avoid saying.

The trouble for McConnell, as Senate majority leader, is that he’s one of the leading Republicans in the country and he is trying to avoid talking about his party’s nominee for president.

McConnell coyly turned aside a question about his support for the ticket at a lunch in Middletown recently, saying he had declared “a Trump-free day.”

No wonder he wanted some relief. McConnell is walking a perilous tightrope, trying to maintain an appearance of party loyalty while distancing himself and the party from Donald Trump’s often offensive, sometimes dangerous, remarks.

At the same lunch, McConnell — again avoiding the dreaded name although clearly talking about the negative impact Trump’s candidacy could have on down-ticket candidates — said the GOP majority in the Senate is “very dicey.”

It’s a long time until November. McConnell and all the other Republicans — including our Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S Rep. Andy Barr — who have been coy about Trump need to make it very clear where they stand.

McConnell did his usual neat turn in Middletown, angling the conversation to attack Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, as if defeating Clinton would spark a do-over with a more palatable Republican candidate.

But our system doesn’t work that way. Barring the unforeseeable, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be elected president in November.

McConnell must explain how he can claim a Trump-free day for himself but is willing to subject the country to four years of Trump days.

Lexington Herald-Leader

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