Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

GOP Beginning to Accept Trump as Nominee

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

GOP Beginning to Accept Trump as Nominee

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * They thought it was impossible. Some still fear it. Others can barely believe it. But leading Republicans are beginning to accept the idea that Donald Trump will be their party's presidential nominee.

In the wake of the businessman's commanding wins in five Eastern states this week, a growing number of national Republicans and GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill say Trump has taken on an indisputable air of inevitability. Some argue they should get behind him now and abandon the "Never Trump" efforts still nursed by some establishment Republicans. Embracing Trump, these Republicans say, may be the GOP's only hope of blocking Democrat Hillary Clinton in November.

"Donald Trump is going to be our nominee," Florida Gov. Rick Scott wrote on Facebook this week. "The Republican leaders in Washington did not choose him, but the Republican voters across America did choose him. The voters have spoken.

"Republicans now need to come together," Scott wrote, warning that continued opposition to Trump "will be nothing more than a contribution to the Clinton campaign."

On Capitol Hill, support for Trump has also gotten markedly easier to find.

"I don't understand. I mean, it's not 'Never Trump.' It's 'Never Hillary.' Never, never, never, Hillary. Come on. Wake up and smell the coffee," said Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, who earlier this week cast his ballot for Trump, along with all members of his large family and 57 percent of Republican primary voters in his state.

"I've never seen a party attack one of its own candidates with this aggressiveness," Kelly said of GOP establishment figures who oppose Trump, blaming it on an elitist Washington attitude out of touch with voters.

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a respected senior member of the Senate, previously endorsed Jeb Bush and then Sen. Marco Rubio and said he doesn't intend to endorse Trump. But Hatch said of Trump: "It looks to me like he's going to win, and if he does, I'm going to do everything in my power to help him. …

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