Trump says he can win without GOP unity

Donald Trump told the Republican convention in California that while he will try to unify the party, he doesn't need it to win the presidency.

New York Times:

For the next 25 minutes, though, Mr. Trump spoke little of California or its June 7 primary. Rather, he wrestled with whether he wanted to begin healing the fractured party he was seeking to lead. Mr. Trump, the Republican front-runner in the presidential race, mocked his conservative critics and his current and former rivals as dumb, “disgusting” and losers. He claimed at least twice that he could win even if the party did not come together. And with some conservatives still uneasy about his beliefs, he breezily dismissed questions about his principles.

“Folks, I’m a conservative, but at this point, who cares? We got to straighten out the country,” he said at a subdued luncheon of party activists who seemed more curious about seeing a celebrity than enthusiastic about their potential presidential nominee.

During the same speech, though, he called for party unity to defeat Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic standard-bearer.

Mr. Trump’s remarks offered a vivid illustration of the current state of his campaign: As he edges closer to the nomination, he is under pressure to curb his hard-edged language and exude a more statesmanlike demeanor. But the continuing attacks from other Republicans plainly rankle him, and he appears to have little appetite to make peace with his critics.

“Ideally we’re going to be together,” he said. But then he said: “I think we’re going to win even if we’re not together. There are some people I honestly don’t want their endorsement.”

At another point, he said, “There should be and there has to be unity,” before adding: “Would I win, can I win without it? I think so.”

Mr. Trump singled out Senator Ted Cruz, his most formidable remaining rival in the primary campaign, and Jeb Bush, a onetime foe who emerged this week to again assail Mr. Trump, for harsh criticism.

“Does he want to endorse me?” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Bush. “I don’t care. It’s not going to have any impact on whether we beat Hillary Clinton.”

Trump is banking on turning out more white male voters and making inroads among blacks and hispanics. Most analysts doubt he can garner enough votes from white males to overcome the larger than usual percentage of women who will be energized to vote against him.

That energy to vote against him will also be reflected in the hispanic community where Trump is a pariah. The bottom line is that Trump may draw more white voters in some rust belt states, but he would have to win north of 70% of them to have a chance. It's possible but not likely.

And that's why GOP unity is so important. Trump needs people who don't support him but support the party. If he drives those people away, the slaughter will be historic. He just can't draw enough white male Demcorats away from Clinton to win. He needs Republicans and Republicans need him.

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