Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wants Republicans to unite around the eventual nominee, disregarding the sentiment expressed by the coalition of conservatives who have vowed to never support Donald Trump.
“It is essential to victory in November that we all support our candidate,” Priebus said during his address to the RNC’s Spring Meeting in Florida this morning. “Politics is a team sport and we can’t win unless we rally around whoever becomes our nominee.”
While Priebus didn’t mention Trump by name, he referred to candidates who “are going to say some things to attract attention,” and urged Republicans to get behind the eventual nominee.
He cited scripture to emphasize his calls for unity.
“Scripture warns us about how the ‘root of bitterness’ can easily damage unity in the church,” he said. “But the Psalms also describe how “good and pleasant it is when God’s people dwell in unity.”
Priebus also alluded to Cruz’s common argument in favor of a contested convention, citing Abraham Lincoln as an example.
“The balloting process is nothing new to our party. It’s the way we have done things since the 1800s,” he said. “It took Abraham Lincoln three ballots to get a majority in 1860.”
He also warned that the nomination would not be won by a candidate with a simple majority, alluding to Trump’s rhetoric about how the candidate leading in delegates should get the nomination.
“We aren’t going to hand the nomination to anyone with a plurality, no matter how close they are to 1,237,” he said. “You need a majority. Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”