Kaufman: GOP not ready to kick ‘tens of millions of voters to the curb’

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Predicting the Republican Party “will come together behind Trump sooner versus later,” GOP National Committee member Ronald Kaufman of Massachusetts says that while a team of Republican candidates drew attention to GOP presidential politics “it’s pretty hard not to” credit Donald Trump with bringing out new voters.

“He’s played by the rules and won by the rules. He will be the nominee in my opinion, probably on the first ballot” at the Republican National Convention scheduled for July in Cleveland, Kaufman, a strategist at Denton’s Worldwide, told WCVB’s “On the Record” in an interview televised Sunday morning.

Asked by host Janet Wu about what he would say to Republican colleagues reluctant to get behind Trump, who has alienated many voters with remarks he’s made throughout his campaign, Kaufman said that more people voted in recent Republican primaries, conventions and caucuses nationwide “than ever before in history in every state except for Vermont for some reason.”

Kaufman added, “Donald Trump will probably end up with more votes than any Republican candidate in the history of our party. A hundred million more people watched our debates than their debates. People say we’re looking at what happened four years ago that one of the reasons Mitt [Romney] lost is our people didn’t show up to vote. I don’t think we’re ready to kick those tens of millions of voters to the curb. We need them to win in November.”

Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh predicted Republicans are “going to have a much harder time bringing the party back together” behind Trump than Democrats will “getting the [Bernie] Sanders people to support Hillary Clinton.”

But WCVB Republican analyst Patrick Griffin noted, “Donald Trump has created something. It’s organic. It’s real, and he’s the nominee. We’re going to have to learn to deal with that. And the bottom line is, can he beat Hillary Clinton? I think the Clinton people are probably a little scared of this guy. I’m not sure they’d be afraid of a Ted Cruz or anybody else.”

Asked about former Sen. Scott Brown as a potential Trump running mate, Griffin said, “Stranger things have happened. Two words – Sarah Palin … Scott Brown is a shameless self-promoter. I’m for that. I like the guy. But I think Scott Brown has as much chance to become vice president as Carly Fiorina does. It’s just not going to happen.”

— Written by Michael P. Norton

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