Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's 12:30 Report Top Republican questions Lynch on Clinton Foundation probe Baby dies of Zika in Texas MORE (R-Texas) suggested Friday that if Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPrimary opponent: McCain has 'issues about race' Clinton, Trump sharpen attacks Bannon's ex-wife: 'He didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews' MORE wins the White House, he'll need a Republican-controlled Congress to approve his policies.
"If Mr. Trump does become the president of the United States, he's going to need a Republican majority to govern," the Senate's No. 2 Republican said on "The Mark Davis Show."
"And I think he would welcome working with Republican majorities in the House and the Senate to move his and the country's agenda forward."
Republican senators have walked a fine line as Trump has risen to the top of the GOP presidential pack.
While many have denounced some of the businessman's policies, they've been wary of cutting ties completely with him or the conservative voters they'll need to keep control of the Senate in November, when Republicans are defending 24 seats.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellClinton, Trump sharpen attacks Sanders, Merkley back McConnell decision to skip TPP vote John McCain: No longer a profile in courage MORE (R-Ky.), in particular, has tried to keep the Senate separate from the battle within the Republican presidential field, sidestepping questions about the race on a weekly basis. But the Republican leader told reporters this week that he had spoken with Trump, and suggested that he discouraged violence at his rallies.
Democrats have spent weeks tying GOP senators to their party's front-runner and quickly pounced on Cornyn's comments.
Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerTrump was wrong: Kaine is a liberal in a moderate's clothing Trump poised to betray primary supporters on immigration Rubio primary challenger loans campaign M MORE (D-N.Y.), expected to be the next Senate Democratic leader, said the Texas Republican "has committed a gaffe by telling the truth."
"Donald Trump and Senate Republicans share the same agenda, and Senate Republicans who are obstructing on the Supreme Court are doing everything they can to make sure that Trump chooses the next justice," he said. "Donald Trump won't make America great again, but he will make Republicans the minority again."
Democrats frequently predict a Trump nomination would negatively affect the already tough reelection campaigns for a handful of Republican senators.
Lauren Passalacqua, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said "those running for U.S. Senate will have to answer not only for their own out-of-touch records but also for Trump's offensive statements, radical policies and hateful rhetoric. ... The Republican Party is now the party of Trump."
Cornyn, however, on Friday suggested that Trump or Ted CruzTed CruzThe Trail 2016: On the fringe FULL SPEECH: Hillary Clinton links Trump to 'alt-right' in Reno Presidential hopefuls still bank on retail politics MORE as the party's nominee could help bolster voter turnout in November, but he acknowledged the presidential election will affect congressional elections "because it's very hard for senators and congressman to separate themselves from the national conversations and trends."
"Hillary's such a flawed candidate," he said. "I think this is a great opportunity for us, and I just hope we don't blow it."