Speaking at a townhall last night in Wisconsin, Donald Trump indicated that should he not gain the Republican nomination, he might not back anyone else for the spot. He told moderator Anderson Cooper in Milwaukee, “I’ll see who it is,” and added, "I’m not looking to hurt anybody. I love the Republican Party.”
Trump said that he does not believe that the Republicans who have vied with him for the nomination will be supportive, either. “I don’t want people to do something against their will,” he said while referring to Sen. Ted Cruz, who was asked the same question earlier. “I could see [Cruz] was having a hard time with a very simple question. I don’t want him to be tormented. I want him to be comfortable. I don’t need his support [and] I don’t want his support.”
As for Cruz, the Texas senator stopped short of definitively answering whether or not he would support a Trump candidacy. Cruz said, “I’m not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and attacks my family.” Speaking to Cooper, Cruz said “That is going beyond the line. I think that our wife and kids should be off limits. They don’t belong in the attacks.”
Cruz and Trump traded barbs for much of last week. Trump accused Cruz of having ties to a political action committee that issued a nude photo of Melania Trump in a campaign ad. The New Yorker threatened then to “spill the beans” on Heidi Cruz. The Texas senator then called Trump a “sniveling coward” in retaliation. A related controversy is roiling the water as well: two women associated with the two candidates have been accused of having romantic affairs with Cruz.
The sole remaining Republican primary candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, was ambiguous in his answer as to whether he would support the eventual GOP nominee. "I got to see what happens," Kasich said. "If the nominee is somebody that I think is really hurting the country and dividing the country, I cant stand behind them. We have a ways to go, lets see how this all folds out."
Buckeye Kasich said before that he was "disturbed" by the rhetoric and other issues on the campaign. "I have to think about what my word and endorsement would mean in a presidential campaign," he said during the CNN town hall. "I want to see how this thing finishes out."
Cruz leads Trump by less than 1 percent in the Badger State, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls. Trump leads Cruz by almost 11 points nationally, and in delegates: 736 to 463.
Rumors are flying that Republicans may seek to bar Trump from the nomination by reconfiguring the rules at the party convention in July. In addition, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has been seen as a possible candidate.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker endorsed Cruz yesterday. Last week, Walker suggested that the eventual nominee may be someone who is not currently in the race. He told The Capital Times of Wisconsin “I think if it’s an open convention, it’s very likely it would be someone who’s not currently running.” Walker's own presidential campaign flamed out early in the process.
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