Donald Trump said on Wednesday that Senate Republicans are "starting to crack" on their pledge to block President Obama's nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
"I've been hearing, here we go again, that the Republicans are starting to crack on this whole thing with the judge, you know, with Obama appointing the judge," Trump said on The Tara Show on South Carolina radio. "And I don't know if you've been hearing it too. But I've been hearing that the Republicans are starting to crack, like he may get the choice. That some of the Republicans are weakening."
Following Scalia's death on Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the Senate should wait to confirm a replacement until after the presidential election, but on Tuesday Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said he would wait until a nominee is appointed to decide whether or not to hold hearings before the Judiciary Committee.
On the radio on Wednesday, Trump said the so-called "weakening" was "ridiculous."
"I mean, this is just ridiculous," he said. "What happened with the budget a month ago and what's happening now with this. I've just been hearing this as of last night. And you know, where there's smoke there's fire and you and I have been watching it too often where the Republicans get sent there and they're so weak."
In the interview, Trump addressed his plan to deport the undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, suggesting that many of them would have to leave on their own.
"They're here illegally, they have to go," Trump argued. "What's going to happen is, you're going to start moving them out, others are then gonna leave. You know, it's not like you're gonna move 11 million — others are gonna leave."
Trump also discussed his own philosophical shift towards conservatism, though he disputed that he was ever "a liberal as such," saying he held "a couple of liberal concepts."
"I've become more conservative over a period of time," he said. "And I notice that happens to people, to many people, they become more conservative. They see what's going on. And I was never a liberal as such. I had a couple of liberal concepts, I guess. But again, as a businessman, it was not something you really talked about."
The businessman went on to compare his political views to those of Ronald Reagan, saying that Reagan wasn't a "true, hardline conservative."
"I think I'll be a common-sense conservative too," he said. "You know, I know some conservatives where they can't think properly, they're — I think I will be a great conservative. But I think it will be a conservative with common sense. Ronald Reagan wasn't a hardline conservative. Ronald Reagan was — I don't know if you know — Ronald Reagan approved abortion bills in California that people were shocked at."
Trump continued, "He wasn't a true, hardline conservative. But he was a conservative person, a conservative president. He was a great president."
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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