- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

GOP Rep. Chris Collins of New York, the first sitting congressman to endorse Donald Trump for president in 2016, said Wednesday that Mr. Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee.

Mr. Trump is our presumptive nominee,” Mr. Collins said on CNN’s “New Day.” “Certainly, he’s got some more work to do, and I think Ohio and Florida will be very big states for him. At some point, you’re going to see him pivot to a general election like you’re seeing Hillary Clinton.”

Mr. Trump picked up wins in seven states on Tuesday, compared to three for Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and one for Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

“You can’t be the president without being the nominee; you can’t be the nominee without winning the primary,” Mr. Collins said. “What Donald Trump has accomplished in this primary is unprecedented. He has spent very little money; he has rounded up the delegates that no one thought any of the original 17 would have by this point.”

Mr. Collins hinted that some of his colleagues can also see the writing on the wall but are holding back publicly for now.

“I’m not getting any pushback. My fellow members realize Donald Trump [is] the presumptive nominee,” he said. “For various reasons in their own districts, they can’t endorse him. I’m getting absolutely no pushback here in Washington.”

He also said in his western New York district, “It’s very good politics for me.”

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