ACU Chairman: GOP Must Heal Its Divide, Unite Behind Eventual Nominee to Stop Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump on March 5, 2016 in Wichita, Kansas.
J Pat Carter/Getty Images

American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp says he’s not certain there will be a unified conservative movement in the future, with many loudly proclaiming they will not back nationalist GOP frontrunner Donald Trump against Hillary Clinton.

“It’s unconventional,” Schlapp told Stephen K. Bannon on Breitbart News Daily about Trump skipping CPAC to campaign. “He’s never been a candidate before. He loves CPAC. I think he’s been to CPAC since 2011… And he loves coming there.”

“I think he wanted to there,” he said. “But I think he wanted to be there, quite frankly, on his terms.”

“I do understand why he wanted to be on the road, but they all wanted to be on the road. I do think that’s why Marco Rubio didn’t give us an answer for a very long time,” he continued.

But they’ve all got to be in these states and voters, but let’s understand the central focus of this thing. The central focus of this thing is: Where do conservative hearts go? And that’s really the question going forward… There is a real conversation going on with conservatives, and I do not what the answer to that is going to be.

The conservative movement faces permanent divisions and a realignment, should Trump or even Ted Cruz capture the nomination.

“We’re at this moment where I just don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m optimistic we can get there. But I couldn’t today tell you that I’m certain of it,” Schlapp said. “I think some people will just never get there with a Trump or a Cruz. I’m still optimistic we can get there, but Steve, we’ve got a lot of work to do. And I think some of what these people are doing out there with the ‘Never Trump’ stuff and everything else, I think it’s a disaster.”

“I don’t understand this. If you compete in a tournament… when the guy gets the championship and the championship trophy, it’s just a fact. So let’s just stop talking about what they ‘feel’ about it, and just acknowledge someone’s going to win,” Schlapp said. “And someone’s going to get the nomination. And it’s going to be a fact.”

“If they don’t do everything they can to help that person, who is going to be on the Right, to win the presidency, then they are helping Hillary Clinton,” he added.

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