Donald Trump has now secured enough delegates to win the Republican party nomination. According to an Associated Press (AP) delegate count held on Thursday just before Trump stopped in North Dakota for a campaign rally, 15 unbound delegates from the state announced they would support Trump. This gives him 1,238 delegates which is one more than needed. This does not assure him the nomination at the Republican Convention in July, since unbound delegates can still choose to support another candidate of their choice.
When Trump learned of the results, he assured his supporters that the Democratcic contenders were no threat.
He noted that Clinton was not winning her present campaign. “Here I am watching Hillary fight and she can’t close the deal. That should be such an easy deal to close.”
Trump seems to be so sure of his nomination, that he has already set his sights on his competition for the presidential election in the Democratic camp. On Wednesday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, Trump challenged Sanders to a debate. Trump said on Thursday, “The problem with debating Bernie? He’s going to lose.”
In a twist that has never before been seen in the money-pit game of politics, Trump sees his election as a money-making proposition.
“If I debated him we would have such high ratings and I think we should take that money and give it to some worthy charity,” Trump said. “If we paid a nice sum toward a charity, I would love to do that.”
Sanders responded to Trump’s challenge via Twitter.
I am delighted that @realDonaldTrump has agreed to debate. Let’s do it in the biggest stadium possible.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 26, 2016
A debate would pit two candidates against each other who are seen as polar opposites on economic issues. Trump is an unabashed capitalist while Sanders has been accused of being a socialist.
The debate is unusual in that it ignores Clinton, the front-runner in the Democratic primaries to date. The snub may be a savvy political move on Trump’s part, in that it damages a seemingly more potent foe. Sanders is lagging behind in his party and this could be an opportunity for Trump to sling barbs at Clinton without risking her response. Debating Trump could potentially give a big boost to Sanders’s campaign before the California primaries on June 7 in which Clinton is favored.
Clinton responded with aplomb. “This doesn’t sound like a serious discussion. I’m looking forward to debating Donald Trump in the general election. I really can’t wait to get on the stage with him,” she told CNN in a phone interview. Her response indicates that Clinton feels the Democratic primaries are a done deal already.
Clinton recently declined an invitation by Sanders to debate before the California elections.
No one In American history has moved from a June 16 announcement to a May 26 winning of a majority. Trump’s achievement is remarkable.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) May 26, 2016
US President Barack Obama was less complimentary. He was quoted from Japan as saying that Trump has displayed “either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what it is that is required to keep America safe and secure and prosperous and what’s required to keep the world on an even keel.”
Trump responded to the Washington Post about the “horrible job” the president he intends to replace has done during his two terms in the Oval Office.
“He’s a president who’s allowed many of these countries to totally take advantage of him, and us, unfortunately, and he’s got to say something,” adding, “You see what’s happened…we’re a divided country…we’re going to solve those problems.”