Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday it’s now time for the GOP to unite, saying it’s “pretty obvious” that likely nominee Donald Trump will win the delegates necessary to clinch the party’s presidential nomination.
Mr. Priebus said Mr. Trump still has to get to 1,237 delegates to be the nominee, but that it’s “pretty obvious” he’ll get there with Sen. Ted Cruz’s exit from the race.
Mr. Cruz announced Tuesday he was suspending his campaign after Mr. Trump rolled to a big win in Indiana, and Mr. Priebus said on Twitter Tuesday evening that Mr. Trump will be the “presumptive” GOP nominee.
“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,” Mr. Priebus said on CNN’s “New Day.” “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 Democrat party.”
Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont scored an upset win over Mrs. Clinton in Indiana on Tuesday, though the former secretary of state is still favored to win the nomination.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign said Tuesday that the governor will stay in the race, and Mr. Priebus said he would leave that up to Mr. Kasich.
Mr. Priebus said Republicans will ultimately unify, though he acknowledged there will be time to heal and come together.
“I think people are going to understand that the words ‘President Hillary Clinton’ is something that we can’t stand for,” he said.
Mr. Priebus said he didn’t make any promises to Mr. Trump in a conversation he had with him Tuesday evening.
“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,” Mr. Priebus said. “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.”
In multiple interviews Wednesday morning, though, Mr. Trump said there are some people in the party that he doesn’t necessarily want.
“I am confident that I can unite much of it,” Mr. Trump said on NBC’s “Today” program. “Some of it I don’t want. I mean, there were statements made about me that those people can go away and maybe come back in eight years after we serve two terms.”
“But honestly, there are some people I really don’t want. I don’t think it’s necessary. People will be voting for me — they’re not voting for the party — and I think we’re going to do really well against Hillary,” he said.
“Now we’re going to unify the party, we’re going to get people together,” Mr. Trump said in a separate appearance on “Fox and Friends.” “And I don’t necessarily want everybody, if you want to know the truth. I think I’m a little bit different as a candidate than most.”