Donald Trump Aims to Unify Republican Party Behind Him After Big Night

<> on March 15, 2016 in Palm Beach, Florida.

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — Billionaire Donald Trump, appearing on stage here at his Mar-A-Lago golf resort after big wins in Illinois, Florida, and North Carolina were called, urged GOP unity behind his seemingly unstoppable presidential candidacy.

“This has been very exciting, this whole process,” Trump said to a room of rowdy and fired-up supporters.

We started, I was one of 17 people, senator, governors, I’ve had such great support. Dr. Ben Carson the other day endorsed us. Wonderful man. Chris Christie endorsed us. Today, Pam Bondi [Florida’s Attorney General] came up and endorsed us. A truly wonderful woman. The job she’s done in Florida is incredible. You know, so many—we’ve had such incredible support. Paul Ryan [the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives] called me the other day. A tremendous call. I spoke with [Sen.] Mitch McConnell [the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate] today. A great conversation. The fact is we have to bring the party together.

Trump’s big wins are, he argued, historic. Despite a loss in the Buckeye State to favorite son Ohio Gov. John Kasich—for whom it is mathematically impossible to win a majority of delegates before the nomination—Trump won Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina handily.

Missouri is too close to call, heading down to the wire as the last results come in, a shockingly better performance for Trump there than most observers predicted, including Sen. Ted Cruz’s own presidential campaign—which is telling people Missouri is in the bag for the Texan, despite it being so close.

Trump crushed Sen. Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida. In fact, Trump’s totals in Florida are so high that he beat both Rubio and Cruz—his next two challengers—combined.

“We have something going that actually probably makes the Republican Party probably the biggest story anywhere in the world,” Trump said. “Everybody is writing about it. All over the world they’re talking about it. Millions of people are coming in to vote.”

Trump noted that he’s expanding the reach of the Republican Party to bring in independents and Democrats, while energizing the conservative base. And he argued that’s largely because of the fact that he has stayed strong on his core issues of trade and immigration.

“When this began, Melania and I—I said, ‘I got to do it,’ and she’s been so supportive, so supportive it’s been amazing, and we had to do it, we came down the escalator—it was about trade and it was about borders,” Trump said. “What happened is pretty quickly, I shot right up. I shot right to the top of the polls and I’ve been leading in the polls almost from the beginning.”

Trump noted that America “loses $500 million a year with China, we lose $50 million a year in terms of imbalance — it’s a term that’s called imbalance.”

“We don’t make good deals anymore,” Trump said.

We don’t win anymore. As a country, we don’t win anymore. Is there anger from the people? There is anger. They’re not angry people but they want to see the country proudly run. They want to see borders. They want to see good healthcare. They want to see things properly taken care of. They want our military rebuilt. Our military is in a very bad state. They want the Second Amendment, by the way, protected and protected strongly. You know what else they want? They want our veterans taken care of.

From here, it remains to be seen what will end up being the final results in Missouri. But ultimately, it appears as though Trump’s momentum only gets stronger after yet another successful Tuesday.

“To win the states that we won and to win by the margins that we won by—especially this one, look this is my second home,” Trump said. “To win by that kind of a number is big.”

And what’s more, Trump warned his rivals that they are wasting their money on attacks against him: They’re not working. Trump noted that in the “history of politics,” nobody has been hit with so many negative ads as he has. “Mostly false, not all of it, but I’ll say 90 percent,” Trump said. “Mostly false, vicious, horrible. They said it was $18 million the first week, meaning last week, and $25 million [this week]—it ended up being over $40 million. Can you explain it to me? Because I can’t. My numbers went up.”

Trump concluded by arguing that he plans “to win for the country.”

“We’re going to go forward and we’re going to win,” Trump said. “We’re going forward and we’re going to win for the country. We’re going to win, win, win, and we’re not stopping. We’re going to have great victories.”