Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynSenators move to protect 'Dreamers' Dems call off presser, raising questions about deal Tax reform: Starting place for jobs, growth MORE (R-Texas) suggested Friday that if Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTom Price is ready to improve our nation's healthcare system MSNBC anchor apologizes over false statement about Fox Rural America demands the nation's attention 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 McConnellCruz, DeSantis to introduce constitutional amendment on term limits Dems call off presser, raising questions about deal House GOP made call on miners benefits 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 SchumerSenate Dems hold out on spending deal, risking shutdown Dems see ’18 upside in ObamaCare repeal Confirm Gary Richard Brown for the Eastern District of New York 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 CruzCruz, DeSantis to introduce constitutional amendment on term limits Fiorina to meet with Trump on Monday Trump picks Goldman Sachs chief for top economic adviser: report 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."