Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump said in an interview airing Sunday on ABC that while he was a conservative, people shouldn’t forget that “this is called the Republican Party, it’s not called the Conservative Party.”
In a wide-ranging interview with This Week’s George Stephanopoulos, Trump addressed the problem he faces of unifying the Republican Party, which is divided over his presumptive nomination for the presidency. Prominent figures like Jeb Bush and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) have already stated they will not support him, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said this week he was not ready to back Trump.
Trump said, however, the party did not necessarily need to be unified in the traditional sense, alluding to former Democrats and working-class voters that have crossed over and supported his candidacy in the GOP primaries.
“I think it would be better if it were unified,” Trump said. “There would be something good about it, but I don’t think it actually has to be unified in the traditional sense.”
Trump said he would “do what I have to do,” pointing to people’s support for his bashing of free trade agreements that traditionally have been supported by Republicans.
“I want trade. I don’t want to be an isolationist, but what’s happening with China, what’s happening with Japan, what’s happening with Mexico, they’re just absolutely eating our lunch,” Trump said. “It’s a shame. It’s terrible, so I have to stay true to my principles also, and I’m a conservative. But don’t forget, this is called the Republican Party. It’s not called the Conservative Party. You know, there are conservative parties. It’s called the Republican Party.“