In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos set to air Sunday on This Week, Donald Trump said he didn't need a unified Republican Party to win the general election because he thinks he'll pick up votes from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' supporters.
"I'm going to go out and I'm going to get millions of people from the Democrats," ABC News reports Trump said. "I'm going to get Bernie people to vote [for me] because they like me on trade." The real estate mogul and TV personality told Stephanopoulos he thought he had enough bipartisan appeal to carry him into the White House even without a unified Republican Party backing him.
"Does it have to be unified? I'm very different than everybody else, perhaps, that's ever run for office. I actually don't think so. I think it would be better if it were unified, I think it would be — there would be something good about it. But I don't think it actually has to be unified in the traditional sense," Trump said.
Indeed, Trump appeared unconcerned with wooing prominent Republicans as he lobbed criticisms at former GOP presidential candidates Jeb Bush and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham while speaking at a campaign rally in Spokane, Washington on Saturday. "Jeb Bush, frankly, he's got no talent because he says bad things about me," CBS News reported Trump said.
The presumptive GOP nominee took credit for Graham bowing out of the presidential race before slamming the senator as weak. "When we went to South Carolina, he thought he'd have power in South Carolina. My son Barron, who's 5 years old, had far more power than he did."
Both Bush and Graham have so far refused to support Trump in the general election. Bush said he felt Trump did not possess the "temperament and strength of character" a president needs in a post published to his official Facebook on Friday. The former Florida governor also cited what he implied was Trump's inconsistent conservative record as a reason he could not support his presidential campaign. Graham listed similar reasons for shunning Trump as the party's nominee in a statement obtained by The Washington Post.
Saturday wasn't the first time Trump has expressed an interest in courting Sanders' supporters. In an April 27 interview on Morning Joe, Trump appeared to have noticeably softened his rhetoric against Sanders, going so far as to compliment the Democratic candidate. "Bernie Sanders has a message that's interesting," he said. "I'm going to be taking a lot of the things Bernie said and using them."
Although many Sanders supporters have openly said they would not support Clinton should she be named the Democratic Party's official nominee for the general election, it's hard to imagine those who currently Feel the Bern jumping on the Trump Train. And while a unified Republican Party would certainly help shore up support among voters, the GOP still appears to be deeply divided over the idea of a Trump White House administration. Which leaves me wondering, where exactly does Trump's path to victory begins?