After big wins across the South on Super Tuesday, Donald Trump began to reshape his image from an agitator into an electable, presidential candidate for the general election.
Instead of a rally for supporters, Trump held a large press conference in front of American flags to speak about his wins across seven states. "I am a unifier," Trump announced, "I know people will find that a little bit hard to believe, but believe me, I am a unifier." Trump aims to secure the traditional 50 percent of the Republican vote, suggesting for the first time that other candidates should drop out so he can clinch the nomination. So far, in 15 states Trump won 34.9 percent of the Republican votes, which means two-thirds of Republicans are voting for someone else.
After Governor Chris Christie introduced Trump, Trump congratulated Ted Cruz for his win in Texas, saying he knew how hard Cruz worked in his home state. "That was an excellent win," he said. Trump mentioned how he might work with Paul Ryan when he is in the White House, saying he doesn't know much about him but will work well with him, then turned his attention to the general election and focused his attacks on Hillary Clinton.
Trump lambasted Clinton's campaign goals, saying that Hillary has been in government for decades and unable to accomplish the goals she says she will pass while President. "She's been there so long," Trump said. "She's not going to straighten it out in the next four years. It's going to become worse and worse."
Referring to Clinton's Super Tuesday victory speech, where she also won seven states, Trump said his slogan 'make America great again' is much better than Clinton's new slogan 'make America whole again.' Trump asked, "what is that all about?"
Newt Gingrich, a former candidate for President and Speaker of the House, has often remarked that Trump needs to appear more presidential and praised his victory speech on Tuesday evening. "Governor Christie introducing and standing with Trump gave the event a sense of seriousness and professionalism in contrast to campaigning," he said.
Cruz and Rubio stay in Primary Mode
While Trump turned to the general election in his victory speech, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio continued to attack Trump on Tuesday night, where Cruz won three states, including his home state of Texas, and Rubio won Minnesota. "Trump's path to the White House will be a disaster for Republicans, conservatives and for the nation," Cruz said in his victory speech at the Redneck Country Club in Texas. In Miami, Rubio repeated that Trump is a con-artist
. "The Party of Lincoln and Reagan and the Presidency of the United States will never be held by a con-artist," Rubio told his supporters.
Gingrich remarked on the contrast between the candidates, "Trump's decision to hold a serious press conference instead of a campaign speech was masterful and a great contrast to Cruz and Rubio."
While Gingrich said that Trump needs to build a Reagan-like inclusiveness to win this fall, the next primary battle will happen in Florida in two weeks, which is also Rubio's home state. With anti-Trump ads appearing across the sunshine state, Trump's newfound presidential tone will take a back-seat as the battle sharpens. In an ad produced by a superpac that supports Rubio, it claimed Trump supported the KKK and asked viewers to "think about that." During Trump's victory speech, he said Rubio deserved to win Minnesota but also called him a lightweight.
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