Louisiana Republican leaders react to likely Trump nomination

Louisiana Republican leaders react to likely Trump nomination

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Many Louisiana Republicans are falling in line behind presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, though some still have reservations.

In part, they appear to be supporting Trump because they do not want to see his likely opponent in the White House.

"If it's a difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I'm with Donald Trump," said U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana.

"There's no way on God's green Earth that I am going to vote for Secretary Clinton, nor would I consider it," said state Treasurer John Kennedy. Kennedy, who is running to fill David Vitter's U.S. Senate seat, praised Trump's controversial stance on immigration.

Even one of Trump's most outspoken detractors and former opponents, former Gov. Bobby Jindal, lent the business mogul his support earlier this week.

"Donald Trump was certainly not my first choice, but he is the voter's choice. They've spoken here," said Jindal in an interview with CNN.

Earlier this week, the Louisiana GOP released a statement congratulating Trump and urging Republicans to "now unite in order to defeat Hillary Clinton in November."

The letter was co-signed by the Louisiana Republican contingent of senators and representatives on Capitol Hill, with one notable exception: U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Louisiana. Graves was unavailable for an interview Friday.

Still, even some of the local Republicans who came out for Trump have some concerns.

"I've never supported a candidate I agree with 100 percent," said Kennedy, who mentioned that he did not always agree with U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, when he ran for president in 2008.

"I don't think he's a Reagan-esque leader. I don't think he can say or do anything between now and November that will convince me that he is the next Reagan-esque leader for our party or for our country," Jindal said.

During a press conference Thursday, Jindal's replacement, the newly-minted Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, was asked for his impressions about Trump as the likely nominee.

"It's hard for me to believe that's the best we can do," Edwards said.

Trump has still not clinched the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination. Voters go to the polls in West Virginia and Nebraska on Tuesday.

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