Donald Trump: Delegates in Hand, I’ve got GOP Nomination
With a triumphant pile of delegates in hand, Republican Donald Trump Thursday claimed support from "almost everybody" in his party and turned his attention to his likely Democratic presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, who is still locked in a divisive primary contest.
The New York billionaire reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination hours earlier, according to the Associated Press count, just before a North Dakota campaign stop. It completed his unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the stage for a bitter fall campaign.
"Here I am watching Hillary fight, and she can't close the deal," he said. "We've had tremendous support from almost everybody."
Trump's good news was tempered by his own continuing campaign problems. Those include the abrupt departure of his political director and continuing resistance by many Republican leaders to declare their support for his upstart candidacy.
Trump was put over the top in the AP delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the national convention in July. Among them was Oklahoma GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard.
"I think he has touched a part of our electorate that doesn't like where our country is," Pollard said. "I have no problem supporting Mr. Trump."
It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. Trump has reached 1,239. With 303 delegates at stake in five state primaries on June 7, Trump will easily pad his total, avoiding a contested convention in Cleveland.
In an early salvo, Trump declared his intention to approve TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline proposal if elected, and urged the opening up of fracking in order to reduce energy dependence on the Middle East.
"Bernie is going to ban fracking. Hillary is going to ban fracking," Trump said at a news conference, flanked by oil baron Harold Hamm, the chief executive of shale oil producer Continental Resources.
"You do that and we're going to be back into the Middle East and we're going to be begging for oil again. That's not going to happen, not with me," he said.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team