Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump delivered a 20 minute victory speech at Trump Tower in New York Tuesday night after winning a landslide victory in Indiana. After thanking family and supporters, Trump turned his focus on Democrat Hillary Clinton vowing to “go after” the former Secretary of State:
“We’re going after Hillary Clinton. She will not be a great president. She will not be a good president. She will be a poor president.”
After seeing the way Trump has been able to defy conventional wisdom by taking a non-traditional campaign to the winner’s circle despite political professionals writing him off multiple times over the past several months, the thought of the New York billionaire focusing his devastating machine on Clinton, rather than a fellow Republican, should come as welcome news.
Considering how effective Trump has been in defining professional politicians like Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, it’s enticing to think how he’ll be able to define Hillary Clinton, a politician with much higher unfavorable ratings and infinitely more political baggage then the GOP roadkill in Trump’s rear-view mirror.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called for unity after the Indiana results were evident and jumped on board the effort to target the Democrat’s presumptive nominee:
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) May 4, 2016
Indeed, any effort to defeat Clinton will require a unified Republican Party which has gone through a fractious, contentious and downright nasty primary season. In perhaps his first attempt to unite the GOP in the run-up to the July convention in Cleveland, Trump used part of his victory speech to praise his most successful rival, Sen. Ted Cruz.
“Just so you understand, Ted Cruz, I don’t know if he likes me or he doesn’t like me, but he is one hell of a competitor. He is a tough, smart guy.”
Yes, just twelve hours after floating the preposterous notion that Cruz’ father was connected to a presidential assassin, Trump was patting his defeated rival on the back as a “tough, smart guy.” Can Trump possibly unite the GOP over the next two months given all that’s been said? Most professional political pundits in DC say it’s not possible. But, they’ve been wrong about everything else in this campaign so why should they be believed now?