Donald Trump says GOP establishment 'warming up' to him

LAS VEGAS -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Thursday the Republican establishment is "warming up" to his candidacy as he ramped up his attacks against his chief rival, Texas Sen.

See Full Article

Ted Cruz.

"I think they're warming up. I want to be honest, I have received so many phone calls from people that you would call establishment, from people -- generally speaking ... conservatives, Republicans -- that want to come onto our team," Trump told reporters in Las Vegas before an appearance at the Outdoor Sportsman Awards.

"We are getting calls from everybody that it's actually amazing. I'm actually surprised," he added. He declined to provide names.

The comments came not long after the conservative magazine National Review published its latest issue online featuring a collection of scathing anti-Trump essays from noted conservatives, underscoring the deep resistance that remains to his unorthodox candidacy, despite his commanding lead in early polls.

Trump responded by calling it "a dying paper" out for publicity.

In addition to criticism from some conservative circles for some of his positions, the billionaire businessman has also faced resistance from the Republican establishment, which remains largely splintered between candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich

At an earlier rally, Trump painted himself as a pragmatic dealmaker capable of working with lawmakers, in contrast with Cruz, his top rival in the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses.

Cruz is an ideological purist who has long argued that Republicans need to elect a conservative who will energize the base instead of another moderate.

"You know what? There's a point at which: Let's get to be a little establishment," Trump told the crowd at the South Point resort and casino. "We've got to get things done folks, OK? Believe me, don't worry. We're going to make such great deals."

The author of "The Art of the Deal" suggested that Cruz, largely boxed out of Senate deal-making circles, can't operate effectively in office.

"Guys like Ted Cruz will never make a deal because he's a strident guy," Trump said, pushing back against the idea that collaboration is a dirty word. He pointed to the famous relationship between Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill in the 1980s. "That's what the country's about really, isn't it?"

He repeated that refrain later Thursday as he presented himself as the kind of leader who could bridge both wings of the party.

"The party has to be healed; it has to be brought together," he said. "And I think the party can be brought together."

Speaking to reporters in New Hampshire, Cruz repeated his charge that the Republican establishment is "rushing to support Donald Trump."

"So if, as a voter, you think what we need is more Republicans in Washington to cut a deal with" congressional Democratic leaders, Cruz said, "then I guess Donald Trump is your guy."

At the awards ceremony, held in conjunction with a gun show, Trump reiterated his support for the Second Amendment -- a topic that has been a constant refrain at his rallies and often draws loud applause.

"We're going to protect the people in this room and what they love," he told those gathered in an ornate ballroom at the Venetian resort casino. The hotel is owned by Republican Party mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

Trump's defence of gun ownership rights during the campaign marks a departure for the billionaire businessman, who had previously supported a ban on assault weapons.

Trump also announced the endorsement of "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson, who introduced him at the event.

Colvin reported from West Des Moines, Iowa. Associated Press writer Kathleen Ronayne in Manchester, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • UberEATS driver charged with killing customer: police

    World News CTV News
    ATLANTA - Police say an Atlanta food delivery driver accused of fatally shooting a customer is in custody. Local media report 36-year-old Robert Bivines turned himself in Monday. Atlanta police said in a statement they had a warrant charging Bivines with felony murder. Source
  • New Pennsylvania congressional map could benefit Democrats

    World News CBC News
    Pennsylvania's high court issued a new congressional district map for the state's 2018 elections on its self-imposed deadline Monday, all but ensuring that Democratic prospects will improve in several seats and that Republican lawmakers challenge it in Federal Court as they seek to protect their advantage in the U.S. Source
  • Jimmy Carter 'deathly afraid' as wife underwent surgery

    World News CTV News
    PLAINS, Ga. -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said Monday he was "deathly afraid" as his 90-year-old wife underwent surgery over the weekend. Rosalynn Carter was recovering at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after surgeons removed scar tissue from a portion of her small intestine early Sunday. Source
  • Prison tattoo and needle programs would help curb hepatitis: internal memo

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal prison service says setting up tattoo parlours and needle-exchange programs behind bars would help reduce the spread of hepatitis C. A Correctional Service memo obtained under the Access to Information Act advises Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale the proposals "warrant consideration" to round out existing and planned measures to fight hepatitis and HIV in prison. Source
  • Appeal court cuts child molester's 'unduly long and harsh' sentence in half

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- An appeal court has dramatically reduced a five-year jail term given a 74-year-old man for molesting four young girls, calling the sentence "unduly long and harsh" and cutting it in half. Source
  • Quebec trial underway for man whose pit bull-type dogs allegedly mauled young girl

    Canada News CTV News
    LONGUEUIL, Que. -- A Quebec man is standing trial for criminal negligence causing bodily harm after one of his pit bull-type dogs allegedly mauled a little girl in 2015. The two-day trial began today at the courthouse in Longueuil, Que. Source
  • Internal Tory turmoil in the spotlight as Ontario legislature resumes this week

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The sprint to Ontario's spring election begins this week as the legislature is set to resume following an unprecedented tumult that saw the official Opposition implode under the weight of its leader's resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations. Source
  • B.C. challenges Alberta wine ban under free trade rules

    Canada News CBC News
    The B.C. government is challenging Alberta's ban on B.C. wines through the Canadian Free Trade Agreement's (CFTA) dispute settlement process. According to a release, the province has notified the Alberta government that it is formally requesting consultations under the CFTA regarding Alberta's embargo on the sale of B.C. Source
  • Apology sought for 'disturbing' confinement of people with disabilities

    Canada News CBC News
    An independent report that warned people with disabilities were being unjustly confined in a Nova Scotia psychiatric hospital is being described as "startling and disturbing" by a law professor at Dalhousie University. Archie Kaiser, who teaches at the Schulich School of Law, said the province should have found housing in the community with supports for the residents, after the review was delivered to senior health officials almost 13 years ago. Source
  • Hedley withdraws from Juno award consideration

    Canada News CBC News
    The members of the embattled rock band Hedley say they have withdrawn from consideration for three awards at this year's Junos and plan to "talk about how we have let some people down, and what we intend to do about it. Source