LAS VEGAS (AP) — A recording from a private Las Vegas event last week reveals more about Republican Rep. Joe Heck’s fears that Donald Trump will hurt him in his tight Nevada Senate race.
The recording of Heck obtained by CNN offers detail on why the three-term congressman revoked his Trump endorsement earlier this month.
Heck says he wanted to support the Republican nominee, but he said Trump cannot stay on message and can’t win the race by appealing to a small subset of the Republican base.
“I want to support him, I really do,” Heck said during a 90-minute discussion at his fundraiser. “But he has got to change his tone and he’s got to be — I don’t want to make him into a politician or make him into the same thing he is running against — but he has got to realize he is not going to win this race by appealing to the 20% or 30% of the Republican base.”
He said he fears Trump could suppress Republican turnout and make it hard for him to win retiring Democratic Sen. Harry Reid’s seat.
“We never thought that the House was in jeopardy, that we could lose 30 seats in the House,” Heck said. “If the current trajectory continues that becomes a possibility.”
Heck’s campaign says the recording shows Heck’s public and private positions align.
Heck’s public comments have focused more on how his un-endorsement decision was deeply personal.
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