Republican Senator David Perdue told Yahoo News on Tuesday that Donald Trump’s outsider status has left some “uncertainty” about what he would do if elected — a vulnerability as the brash businessman courts wary voters.
In an interview on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the Georgia Republican also dismissed the anti-Trump insurgency at the gathering on Monday as “a little technical argument,” and shrugged off evidence that Melania Trump’s speech plagiarized an address by first lady Michelle Obama as irrelevant to voters worried about their economic struggles.
Perdue, a stalwart Trump supporter, played down Republican concerns that Trump is having trouble uniting the party.
“We’re going to get over this intra-squad squabbling that we have going on right now and realize that we can actually win this thing in November and change the direction of our country,” he said, adding that he hoped the GOP would be united “coming out of this convention.”
Perdue said Republicans are trying to come to terms with “a power-struggle between somebody who is not from the inside establishment, and now we have a leader who could go to the White House and they haven’t spent time in the system.”
As a result, “there’s an uncertainty around what we will get from a Donald J. Trump presidency,” the senator said.
Perdue dismissed the flap over Melania Trump’s speech, a section of which closely matched Michelle Obama’s address to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
“I’m not concerned about this potential overlap of language. We’ve all been caught in situations where there’s similarities and so forth,” he said, adding that voters in his home state of Georgia are more likely to worry about their economic situation.
“They’re not concerned about that,” he said, referring to the controversy. “When I go home they’re concerned about their pocketbook they’re struggling to get from payday to payday, they’ve lost a job or they’re working part-time.”
“If we’re going to focus on that as a world,” he continued, “let’s talk about Hillary Clinton being a plagiarist of Obama’s policies,” Perdue said, sticking to the Republican message that electing the former secretary of state would amount to a third term for President Obama.
“I’ve met with a lot of heads of state in the last 18 months as a member of the [Senate] Foreign Relations Committee,” he said. “I can tell you that the single thing that every single person that we talk to — heads of state, now — say, is that ‘we need America to lead again.’”