Trump Isn’t Stressed About Party Unity

A unified party would be nice, he says, but not necessary for his unique campaign

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump isni't (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump isni't (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Posted May 8, 2016 at 10:24pm

Donald Trump said in a pair of interviews Sunday that he hopes the Republican party will unite behind him in his presidential bid, but he expects to win the White House.  

“Does it have to be unified? I’m very different than everybody else, perhaps, that’s ever run for office. I actually don’t think so,” Trump told ABC’s  “This Week” . “I think it would be better if it were unified, I think it would be — there would be something good about it. But I don’t think it actually has to be unified in the traditional sense.”  

The business mogul, who sealed the nomination with his overwhelming victory in last week’s Indiana primary, also said he is willing to reconcile with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan during a meeting planned for Thursday — but he made it clear that the GOP leader’s hesitancy to endorse him was an unwelcome surprise.  

“You know, he called me three weeks ago,” Trump said. “We couldn’t have had a nicer conversation  — that’s great and we’ll, you know, work together. Well, everything is fine. And then all of a sudden, he wants to be cute.  

“But, you know, we’ll see,” he added. “We’ll see.”  

Thursday’s meeting involving Trump, Ryan and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will be in Washington. At Ryan’s behest, Trump will also huddle with House GOP leadership on the same day.  

Last week, Ryan said he was “not ready to” endorse Trump’s bid for the presidency, comments that caused a stir given the speaker’s standing in the party.  

In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that aired Sunday, Trump declined to say whether Ryan should remain as chairman of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland if he doesn’t give him his endorsement by July.  

A host of GOP luminaries have they said they won’t back Trump, including 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney and the party’s two living ex-presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Two former rivals on the campaign trail, Jeb Bush and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham , said last week they wouldn’t vote for Trump.  

On “Meet The Press,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said he wasn’t surprised.  

“I’m never going to get Romney’s endorsement,” Trump said. “He choked. He blew the last election. I’m never going to get that. I’m never going to get Bush’s. …  You know, he thought I was too rough on him.”  

Contact Roarty at alexroarty@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter at @alexroarty.

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