Trump: GOP Unity Would Be Nice, Not Essential

WASHINGTON (AP) -
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in an airplane hanger in Rome, New York April 12, 2016. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

With a growing number of prominent Republicans refusing to fall in line, Donald Trump is standing firm in his assertion that the Republican Party doesn’t have to be unified because he will gain Democratic votes to win in the fall.

“I think it would be better if it were unified, I think it would be — there would be something good about it,” Trump said in an interview with the ABC airing Sunday. “But I don’t think it actually has to be unified in the traditional sense.”

George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, the only former Republican presidents still living, said they would not back Trump’s candidacy. Two former Trump rivals for the nomination, Florida Governor Jeb Bush and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, are among those who have also said they don’t plan to back Trump.

Trump played down his problems unifying the GOP as he continued to assail Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, whom he’s dubbed “Crooked Hillary.”

Trump appeared to be responding to news that Priorities USA, the lead super PAC backing Clinton, has already reserved $91 million in media advertising that will start next month. Much of the negative advertising against Trump is expected to focus on belittling statements he’s made about women in the past.

But Trump declared Saturday, “Two can play that game.”

Deriding a culture of political correctness, Trump also defended himself as a great supporter of women and sought to downplay past comments he’s made.