Washington Free Beacon Editor-in-Chief Matthew Continetti appeared on Meet the Press Daily on Thursday to discuss the Supreme Court vacancy and the GOP strategy in the event of a Trump presidential campaign.
Continetti said that he was “skeptical” of the possibility of a contested convention for the Republican nominee and said that Trump will have the requisite number of delegates to be the nominee by June.
“I think that the way that the inertia of this race is heading—the fact that Kasich won’t get out, the fact that the debates are effectively over, the fact that you see the somewhat conservative voters in state after state moving toward Donald Trump—I think he’ll have the 1,237 [delegates] by June,” Continetti said.
He said that if he were a Republican senator he would not distance himself from Trump, but would use Trump’s popularity to his advantage.
“[If] you’re a senator in a state around the Great Lakes, you hug Donald Trump and you hope that you get some of these voters that are new to the political process who feel aggrieved because of globalization,” Continetti said.
Continetti admitted that his view differs from most conservatives or Republicans, who would probably not follow the bear hug strategy because they are “deeply offended by what Donald Trump represents.” Still, he said that not rejecting Trump outright is the best shot Republican senators have.
“It’s a prisoner’s dilemma, and the most likely outcome, in my view, is you’re going to lose either way,” Continetti said. “The only chance of survival, I think, is if you say ‘you know what, I understand that you’re angry, and I’m going to be with the nominee.’”
Continetti also said that he disagreed with the Republican strategy in response to President Obama’s nomination for the Supreme Court vacancy.
“I thought you should’ve said, ‘Okay Mr. President, it’s your prerogative. Send the guy up, or the lady, and we’ll meet, do the vetting,’ and now I think they put themselves in a box, because I think Garland is probably the best they could have hoped for,” Continetti said, referring to Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee. “If I were advising McConnell … I would say hold the hearings, do the process. Be polite.”