Local party leaders react to Trump as the presumptive nominee

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich dropped out of the race for president Wednesday, just one day after Ted Cruz did the same, leaving Donald Trump as the presumptive GOP nominee.

While some Republicans such as Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker have said they still won’t vote for Trump, his honorary Rhode Island chairman thinks that will change come November.

“I think the party will unite around Trump. I really do,” said Rep. Joe Trillo. “I think a lot of people who were saying they wouldn’t vote for him under any circumstances are beginning to change their mind.”

Rhode Island GOP chairman Brandon Bell said the party should unite around whoever the nominee is, including Donald Trump.

“Anyone but Hillary Clinton,” he said.

On the other side of the political coin, Democratic Party Chair Joe McNamara said he believes both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would beat Trump in November, but he still expressed fear at the thought of him in the Oval Office.

“The possibility that he could be president is horrifying,” said Rep. McNamara. “Some of his statements he has made are so outrageous. They just highlight the fact that the world would be a much more dangerous place.”

McNamara referenced Trump’s plan to stop muslim immigration, and his support for the use of torture.

“Look at the big picture,” Trillo said. “Don’t zero in on these small little things that are politically incorrect.”

Trillo said he believes Trump could win Rhode Island in November, but the numbers from last week’s Rhode Island primary indicate it’s still a blue state.

“Hillary Clinton lost, and got more votes than the entire GOP field,” said McNamara. About 52,700 Rhode Islanders voted for Clinton in the primary, compared to about 39,200 for Trump. Bernie Sanders won the most votes, at nearly 67,000.

Trump is now about 200 delegates away from definitively clinching the nomination, with some winner-take-all Republican primaries coming up.

As for the Democrats, Clinton is leading with about 93% of the delegates needed to win the nomination.

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