Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said this morning that even though no one could have “predicted what happened” in the GOP primary, “I don’t think that’s necessarily bad.”
“You know what? I think something different and something new is probably good for our party,” he told CNN.
After Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced he was dropping out of the race, Priebus tweeted Tuesday night: “
@realDonaldTrump will be presumptive @GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton #NeverClinton”
Priebus added this morning on CNN that “obviously, you still have to get to 1,237 delegates.”
The chairman said he “was surprised” that Cruz dropped out, “and that’s a hard thing to do.”
“I mean, he ran a very, very serious operation. Just an incredible ground game. His delegate operation was unbelievable,” he added.
“I think the momentum is there. We’ve got a candidate that is winning in every single state. I mean, a week earlier, I don’t think he had lost a county in six states. So I mean, look, it’s time to unite. It’s time to come together, and I said, you may recall, months ago, I thought that we would have more clarity in our party before the Democrats do. And look where they’re at. I mean, Hillary Clinton, she can’t win a state. She’s going to have to win somewhere if she’s going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party.”
Responding to GOPs who were declaring Tuesday night that they are no longer affiliated with the party, Priebus said “there’s going to be time here in the next few months to heal and come together.”
“And that’s what today is all about. It’s starting that process. It’s not easy,” he continued. “I mean, it’s not — you know, we had two candidates that had very serious operations with deep support, both on the ground and on the air, everywhere for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every six minutes on cable, everybody fighting about this. And it’s going to take some time, but we’re going to get there, because Hillary Clinton, and the Supreme Court, and getting our debt under control, and signing a budget bill that Paul Ryan drafts up is going to be important to the future of our country.”
“And I think people are going to understand that the words ‘President Hillary Clinton’ is something that we can’t stand for.”
The chairman predicted that voters would see more of the “very gracious” Trump on display in his victory speech last night.
Priebus said he didn’t talk with Trump about his tone, but “we did talk about, you know, speaking at 30,000 feet.”
“And we talked about bringing the party together, and unifying. And I think that’s very important to him. Very important to me, in order to win. We can’t win with one arm tied behind our backs. We’ve got to have everything at the ready and I think we will,” he added. “…I’m not naive. It will take some time. This was a very contentious battle. Donald Trump still has to get to 1,237.”
“…We need to start doing some things to start getting ready. Like, we’re going to need to raise more money. We need to get more boots on the ground and we need to continue to do the things that I’ve done at the RNC for the last five years.”