McConnell: I didn’t think Trump ‘had a chance’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Trump expects to nominate woman to replace Ginsburg next week Video of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral MORE (R-Ky.) says he never expected Donald Trump to win the presidential election.

"I didn’t think President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE had a chance at winning,” McConnell said on Kentucky Education Television’s “One to One” late Monday. "It never occurred to me that he might be able to win."

McConnell said Trump found a way of reaching voters who felt ignored by Democratic rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Momentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Warning signs flash for Lindsey Graham in South Carolina MORE, President Obama and other Democrats.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I think that there was a lot of feeling among just ordinary people all across the country that the current administration didn’t care about them,” he said.

“Trump was able to convey — oddly enough, a message from a billionaire who lives in Manhattan — a genuine concern for people who feel kind of left out, are sort of offended by all the political correctness they see around them and didn’t feel like this is the America that they’re accustomed to.”

McConnell added that he was most impressed by Trump’s wins in the typically blue Midwestern states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

“What was amazing about Trump’s victory is that he pierced the ‘blue wall’ that I haven’t seen a Republican carry in a long time. He was able to break through and that’s why he won a comfortable Electoral College victory. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.”

McConnell also said during the interview that he thought that Republicans "would come up short" in their bid to hold the Senate. 

"It was really exciting because you get more excited about things you don’t expect to occur.”