Donald Trump Moving to Unite the GOP
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus struck back at the “Never Trump” movement Friday by calling for party unity, saying that it is “essential to victory” that the party rally around the eventual nominee.
“This goes for everyone, whether you’re a county party chairman, an RNC member, or a presidential candidate,” Mr. Priebus said during the RNC’s Spring meeting, being held this week in Hollywood, FL. “Politics is a team sport, and we can’t win unless we rally around whoever becomes our nominee. They’re trying out for our team. No one is forcing them to wear our jersey. We expect our candidates to support our party and our eventual nominee.”
On Thursday, a senior adviser for Donald Trump visited to the Republican National Committee (RNC) Spring meeting, and promised party leaders that the front-runner will begin running a traditional campaign that will include raising money for the party organization.
“We’re here because we want to let you know that we’re very interested in the RNC and we are very interested in bringing the party together,” Paul Manafort told the attendees at the RNC’s Spring Meeting.
Tensions have been high between the RNC and Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly called the party’s delegate selection process rigged. He promised a “rough July,” if changes are not made before the Summer gathering in Cleveland.
Mr. Manafort said he knows some members have asked if Trump “is running against the Republican National Committee. The answer is he is not.”
“He’s actually had some very good conversations with the Chairman. He’s made it very clear to me that I’m to make it clear to you that he envisions preparing a campaign operation that will be what you all are historically used to,” Mr. Manafort told the RNC audience. “We’re going to pull together all that’s needed. He is prepared to work with the RNC and the committees necessary to raise the money necessary so that we will be well funded.”
Donald Trump is “concerned about what he considers to be a transparency issue, where the voters are voting for something and the rules might be something else regarding selection of the delegates,” Mr. Manafort added. “He is not interested in changing the rules in this process. He’s winning. He’s not interested in changing the rules.”
Mr. Manafort also made the case that it was in the best interest of the party not to proceed with a contested convention. He also argued that although both Donald Trump and Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton have “high negatives” in the opinion polls, “we think there’s a big difference between them.”
“Clinton’s negatives are serious because they’re character based,” Mr. Manafort said. “People do not trust her. People do not like her. They think she is a liar. They think she does things only for her own interests.”
Those who have a negative view of Donald Trump simply do not like his personality, he said.
“People don’t know what to make of him and some of the speeches he’s given. The style he has. Some of the ways in which he’s presented the issues. But it’s his personality that people have trouble with.”
Donald Trump believes that “starting the conversation in this time frame” is a good idea because “this is when we are all facing the issue and recognizing some of the inconsistencies.”
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