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Trump says GOP unity would be nice, not essential


    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally Saturday, May 7, 2016, in Lynden, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

WASHINGTON >> Donald Trump says he’s all for bringing together the Republican Party, but the many GOP officials he’s branded losers and lightweights will have to fall in line because the voters have spoken.

Trump’s strident rhetoric, in television interviews and campaign rallies over the weekend, are characteristic of his outsider campaign. But his latest verbal lashings, after moving from presidential front-runner to presumptive nominee last week, also suggest a candidate increasingly isolated from the very leaders he might need to support him ahead of a tough November election.

And if elected, Trump would need their helping in pushing his agenda through Congress.

For now, Trump is brushing off rejections by influential GOP officials and saying the party doesn’t have to be unified “in the traditional sense.”

“Look, I’m going to get millions and millions of votes more than the Republicans would have gotten” without me, he said.

At the same time, Trump complained that he was “blindsided” by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s refusal to endorse him. Trump said Ryan, R-Wis., had called him three weeks ago, after winning the New York primary on April 19, to congratulate him and that the two had a friendly exchange.

A Ryan spokesman said that phone call never happened. Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said “Ryan disputed the time of the call, not the call itself.” She added, “I believe this took place in late March.”

Trump and Ryan plan to meet in Washington on Thursday. Ryan is on tap to be chairman of the GOP convention in Cleveland in July and would be considered by most politicians as a crucial ally.

Trump said his message to Ryan will be simple: “I’m going to say, ‘Look, this is what the people want.’”

The billionaire businessman is sending a clear message about party critics who are withholding support or planning to skip the convention.

He used the term “lightweight” to describe Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., once in the presidential race, and suggested former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, another former rival, was still licking his wounds from the vicious campaign.

The party’s 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, Trump said, “blew the election” that year and never even thanked Trump for his work on Romney’s behalf.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 nominee, said it would take a lot for him to ever stand on stage next to Trump, even though McCain has agreed to support the party’s nominee. Last July, Trump said McCain — a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War who was captured after his plane was shot down and was held for more than five years — was a “war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

“There’s always wounds in spirited political campaigns,” McCain said in a TV interview. “But frankly, I have never seen the personalization of a campaign like this one, where people’s integrity and character are questioned.”

McCain said what Trump said about him, “that’s fine. I don’t require any repair of that.” But, he added, “There’s a body of American heroes that I would … like to see him retract that statement, not about me, but about the others.”

Sen. Jeff Flake, a Trump critic, said Republicans must figure out something fast because Trump’s ability to win primary contests by relying on hard-line policies such as banning Muslims from entering the United States might not translate into general election success against the Democrats.

“If Republicans want to win, and we do, then we’ve got to change the approach because we’re not going to win taking these positions,” said Flake, R-Ariz.

Trump adviser Paul Manafort suggested the Republican establishment was surprised by the candidate’s rapid rise and therefore has been slow to rally behind him.

“There’s a lot that unites the leadership in the Congress as well as Donald Trump,” Manafort said. “But the important thing to remember is the national titular head of the party is the nominee of the Republican Party. He just won that overwhelmingly, faster than anybody in Washington thought and running as an outsider against Washington.”

Trump supporter Sarah Palin, the party’s vice presidential nominee in 2008, said she would do “whatever she can” to help Ryan’s primary challenger in Wisconsin, small businessman Paul Nehlen, because the speaker “has so disrespected the will of the people” by failing to embrace Trump.

Trump appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Palin and McCain were on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Manafort was interviewed by “Fox News Sunday” and Flake was on NBC.

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  • Bush’s, Graham, Ryan, not endorsing the presumptive Rep. nominee is outrageous. Bush, Graham signed the GOP’s paper saying they’d support whoever the eventual nominee would be. The GOP is full of b/s. Trump! Trump! Trump!

    • The head of the RNC Reince Priebus should tell those 2 former 2016 GOP POTUS candidates to fall in line of LEAVE the GOP Party. That’s what it comes down too, these fools would rather have Hillary win it all, CRAZY! and the Democrats are laughing their butts off right now.

    • Don,t forget Romney!Such dishonorable men….”True Colors”.They lack credibilty Big time! Thing to remember though.a lot of the rhino incumbents,opposing the will of the people/Trump will lose their seats come November!watch! Gooooo Donald Trump!

  • The Trump phenomena shouldn’t be seen as a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. Trump has pulled the sheets off the Republican Party and exposed it for what it truly is. “Dog whistle” racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and phony piety are now officially out of date; now, they’re not only exposed, they are proudly displayed as the unifying themes of the Republican Party. We can only hope that sunlight proves to be the best disinfectant.

    • bsdetection I agree. If Trump wins he’s going to expose what’s “really” going on with the taxpayers money, can’t wait. Trump 2016!

  • Hmmmn, so let me get this correct-the following leaders within his own party don’t support the Donald: Paul Ryan (House Speaker), Mitt, George W., Jeb Bush, Lindsay Graham, Susan Collins, Bill Kristol, Ross Douthat, Erick Erickson, George Will, Charles Krauthhammer, and Koch Bros….

    So quick Q, who the heck is even voting for him within his own party? All credible polling shows, and even more crucial, that he does not even come close to getting the Hispanic, Black or female vote. It’s laughable, but the silver lining is that the Donald, is a giant gift to the Ds, and it keeps on giving…..

    • not so quick. I’ve heard the Primary’s Rep. voter turnout rose and the Dems. faultered. If I was The Donald I’d get the poor Black’s and Latinos to come to terms in what has their Democrat leaders done for them? The Donald should be going on the airwaves touting he’d bring back jobs for them, but of course if they’d rather collect the Free handouts, what can I say?

      • Please, but that is just not factually true or even possible.Donald Trump’s claim that he would win the Hispanic vote in a presidential election has always seemed a bit absurd, given that he launched his campaign with an attack on Hispanic immigrants and hasn’t taken his foot off the gas since, with calls for a border wall, mass deportation and an end to the Constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship.

        A new Gallup poll released Tuesday, though, shows just how far the real estate billionaire and current frontrunner for the Republican nomination really is from that particular goal. Among Hispanic voters, Trump’s favorability ratings are incredibly bad. This should surprise nobody, but the degree to which he has separated himself from the rest of the GOP pack in the race to completely alienate the fastest-growing segment of the American electorate is really pretty impressive and should be depressing for the R party.

        • lol, are you saying the polls been polling illegal immigrants on The Donald’s stance on their “illegal” migration to the US? hahahahahaha. And that just shows you what happens when you give amnesty to Illegals, there’s no end to it. Here lies the problem, you cave in to these illegal migration and it depletes American job opportunities! As it is Millions of “Legal” American citizen’s are out of jobs and that’s not even talking bout the handouts given to illegals. 19+ trillion in debt? no jobs? What has your Democrat party done for the US citizens? Nothin but put the US in debt, loss of jobs, sanctuary cities, etc. CRAZY.

        • Thanks for the update. Please keep us informed on how well Mr Trump is doing and who else doesn’t support him. Mahalo

        • If you were a student of elections you would know that you need to pull for Hispanics in the low 40 percent of their vote- Donald polls in the single digits. For blacks you need to get in the low 30 percent, Donald polls in the single digits. In short, and this is a very delineated strategy by R strategist, is in order for an R to take the White House they need about 65 % the white vote and 35% of the non-white vote. The Donald currently polls at under 10 percent for the non white vote, in fact he is under 60 percent for the white vote , so again, I ask you, how is even going to be competitive. As a point of reference, Mitt, in 2012., received only 16% of the non white vote. Facts, not pithy sad platitudes….

        • so, I’m I to conclude the GOP is caving to the illegal migrtaion and the laws that are already in place so that they have a chance getting a GOP POTUS? I thought the GOP does whats written in it’s laws? And there lies another example of why you don’t want amnesty for illegals. Closing the porous border and enforcing Fed Laws that are already in place is what the people want, they have spoken in voting for The Donald. It may or may not be a big enough wave to overthrow whats being going on for years by leaders of all sides of political party lines. The Democrats have no fear siding with illegal migration whereas the Rep.’s lie thru their teeth on building the borders, deporting illegal migrants, doing away with illegal sanctuary cities,etc. That’s why The Donald is winning the Rep. nominee. US citizens are speaking with their votes

        • Poncho n Sarge, you both need to be better students and objective readers.On Thursday, Donald Trump’s tweet about tacos was only the second-most-alarming message he sent to potential voters. Less open to humorous interpretation was his threat to default on U.S. debt in the event of a recession.

          “I’ve borrowed knowing that you can pay back with discounts,” he told CNBC. “I would borrow knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.”

          This policy would be so disastrous that even its suggestion is dangerous. In the event of a recession, Trump would treat the full faith and credit of the United States to a capricious hair cut. As Josh Barro explained, this wouldn’t just represent a historic default, putting the U.S. in the position of a country like Greece or Argentina; it could also spark an international financial crisis, as “investors would cease to see Treasuries as a safe asset and demand higher interest rates in exchange for risk.”

          Trump has promised to make America great again. But a closer look his policy proposals, such as they are, suggests that within his first few years as president, he would more likely make American recessionary again.

          Trump has promised to make America great again. But a closer look his policy proposals, such as they are, suggests that within his first few years as president, he would more likely make American recessionary again.

          The problem begins with his outspoken approach to Mexican immigration. His “plan” to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants would shrink the economy by about 2 percent, according to American Action Forum (AAF), a conservative and pro-business think tank. The sudden subtraction of 7 million workers would cause an immediate shock to thousands of businesses, triggering a GDP collapse ranging from $400 billion to $600 billion in production, AAF’s analysis found, with the worst of the slump occurring in industries like construction and hospitality. “The things Donald Trump has said are utterly unworkable,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economic adviser to Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and the forum’s president, told Reuters.

          Trump’s plan for a border wall could cost several billion dollars more. But as a financial matter, the wall is one of the least troubling aspects of his policy fantasies. By contrast, his tax plan would cut federal revenue by almost $10 trillion in the next decade, according to the Tax Policy Center. Meanwhile, he has no plans to cut spending on Medicare, Medicaid, benefits for veterans, defense, or Social Security, which, along with mandatory payments on the debt, collectively account for more than two-thirds of government spending. In fact, several of his proposals suggest he would raise spending on some of these measures, such as Social Security and veterans benefits. The deficit would, in short order, reach unprecedented peacetime, non-recession levels. (That’s not counting the revenue collapse from manufacturing a recession with mass deportations.)

          Here is Trumponomics, in a sentence: Create an unnecessary economic downturn by deporting 7 million workers while cutting taxes for the rich and requiring the United States to borrow trillions of dollars from creditors, whom Trump has now threatened to stiff, if he feels like it. It would be the greatest, dumbest recession in American history.

          Trump’s abandonment of economic common sense is, like so much of his appeal, not an outlier position in the GOP so much as an extrapolation of his party’s recent commitment to fiscal insanity. Republicans elites have responded to widening income inequality by proposing a series of escalating tax cuts for the rich. Paul Ryan, nominally the adult-elect of the party, rose to fame with tax-cut promises and draconian proposals to shrink the safety net. When interest rates were historically low and infrastructure spending was attractive, Republicans called for deficit reductions. When the recovery was still fragile, they played chicken with the debt ceiling by threatening a default until the president caved to their budget demands.

        • Why are you wasting your valuable time writing subjective responses to us low level uneducated who will vote for Mr Trump? You cite all these people we know nothing about instead of folks we know like Bobby Knight, Ed Rollins and Clint Eastwood. If all you say is true why are you worried that the Donald will be the next presidents? Inquiring minds want to know??

        • Yeah, I no your at a loss for words as to our arguments when you start the “name calling”. lol

    • Somebody must like the Donald or he wouldn’t be the Republican nominee with millions of votes. We have heard all this babble before but who is still number one? Jeb and Lindsay really did great against Mr Trump. Put them in the sore loser category. Bernie supporters are now aware of how the system is fixed and chances are they will vote for the Donald. Hillary is in for a rude awakening as her criminal past is relived. The election is more about establishment versus anti establishment then Rep vs Dem. “Make American Great Again”

      • Not a single poll shows previous Bernie voters even considering voting for Donald. There is none. In fact, cite one mainstream poll that shows that and I’ll never post again….sad sad uneducated simp.

        • Do you honestly think Bernie voters would admit they would vote for Trump? Bernie is still in the fight. Oh over educated clueless student of elections you and your minions are is in for a rude awakening. How about some more name calling as you can’t handle the truth. Trump 2016

        • Sarge, two things– make a credible attempt to finish middle school and second, show me a single credible poll that shows him taking the White House. Again there is none. Most Rs are already conceding the election and are in damage control mode. Y’all should have taken Garland as the Supreme Court nominee, now you will have three shoved down your throat…best news ever is fat man Scalia finally succumbing to heart diease

  • Am just amazed that the republican party just keeps on falling. What is truly sad is that the Donald is the best candidate the republicans had. I mean compared to a Cuban Canadian anchor baby, The Donald at least qualifies to be president .

    • I comes down to the Borders, immigration, jobs, debt. The rest of being a staunch GOP conservative if of a lesser nature to the GOP voters. The Donald will have to spend money to gets those things done and I believe it will cost money but you have to start somewhere. That’s better than just talking about it and getting nothin done as it’s being done now on Capitol Hill.

  • Donald Trump has finished his contract with the Democratic Party. He has successfully destroyed the Republicans for this election. He can take his billion dollar paycheck and walk away. Democratic Party needs to be aware, paybacks are a b i t c h.

    • Indeed…he has all but handed the Ds the White House, but for good measure, he also is kicking in the House, the Senate, and probably 3 Supreme Court nominees, just in the next term alone. Nice job Donald!!!

    • The Donald may destroy the Ole Boys Network in all Party Lines. lol. The Donald be a liar if don’t build them walls, bring back jobs to American, fixing the illegal migrant situation. Would he not do all that being it’s his major points in his campaign. I’d think there’d be a recall if he was elected

  • This from the idiot who says he’s great at unifying people…He can’t win without women, African-Americans & Latinos, three segments of the population that he unfortunately isolated during his rise to the Republican nomination…

  • This is all a charade to get Hillary to cake walk into the presidency and Trump has conned the American people big time to make this happen. Reminds me a script right out of the WWE with Trump the designated heel that is guaranteed to lose. Notice how Trump continues to alienate everyone every day? The whole mission is to bring down the entire Republican party with him and he’s doing a spectacular job doing it. Props to the GOP members such as Paul Ryan who is seeing through this charade and refuse to sell their souls to go down with the sinking ship that Trump is trying to scuttle on purpose.

    • she be in Jail, or President Obama use his power to give her the amnesty job. Crooked Hillary, she’ll say anything to woo voters. Did she talk her way out of putting the Coal Miners out of jobs, yet? or maybe the WV miners didn’t buy what she said. lol

  • Went to a business and economics seminar. It is easy to understand why pro business and pro Wall Street Republicans oppose Trump and blue collar workers support Trump. Everything Trump wants will hurt business: the Wall and immigration regulations will burden American businesses with regulations and paperwork and make it difficult to hire immigrant labor and professionals; Tarrifs and protectionist legislation for American workers will hurt the competitive position of American companies and their value in the stock market if they are forced by penalties and restrictions to move production to the US and forced out of competing in foreign markets (the end of large tech in the USA and the end of the auto industry– they cannot exist and profit without overseas markets and overseas production);. Trump now says he supports Sanders on raising the minimum wage, subsidies for college education, and tax cuts for the middle class (he earlier said tax cuts for the rich when he wanted to win Republican primaries).

  • Washington Post: “the news media now faces the challenge of Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. Trump makes Four-Pinocchio statements over and over again, even though fact checkers have demonstrated them to be false. He appears to care little about the facts; his staff does not even bother to respond to fact-checking inquiries.”

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