Donald Trump now has the GOP presidential nomination virtually in hand, as he turns his efforts towards the November election.
“I am confident I can unite much of” the GOP Trump said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today Show, as several prominent Republicans said they’d prefer Democrat Hillary Clinton over the New York billionaire. In a shot at his critics, Trump added: “Those people can go away and maybe come back in eight years after we served two terms. Honestly, there are some people I really don’t want.”
His comments on several networks came a few hours after Trump, once dismissed as a fringe contender, became all-but certainly the leader of the Republican Party into the fall campaign against Clinton. The former secretary of state suffered a defeat Tuesday in Indiana to her rival, Bernie Sanders, but holds a definitive lead in Democratic delegates who will decide the Democratic nomination.
With both Ted Cruz and John Kasich suspending their campaigns, Trump alone remains to face the democratic nominee in the general election.
Kasich won just one state during the race, his home state of Ohio, and failed to gain traction in the Midwestern and Northeastern states that he had predicted would propel his candidacy. Kasich ended up with fewer delegates than Marco Rubio, who ended his own campaign in mid-March after he lost his home state of Florida.
The governor tried to set himself apart from the rhetoric of the Republican field, repeatedly saying that he would not “take the low road to the highest office in the land.”
Most swing-state polls found Kasich with the best chance of vanquishing either Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, a point that his team cited repeatedly as they sought to keep his candidacy alive.