Trump tries to reconcile Republicans

  • 10/03/2016

Donald Trump is moving closer to capturing the 2016 US Republican presidential nomination with his latest primary victories and is urging the party to get on board or risk losing the election.

On Wednesday the real estate tycoon struck a more conciliatory tone toward the Republican establishment that has fiercely resisted his advance.

"If we embrace what is happening and everyone came together, instead of spending all this money on these ads that frankly are wrong, and they're just false ads," Trump told Fox News. "If everyone came together, no one could beat the Republican Party.

"We would walk into Washington."

Trump, the front-runner to win his party's nomination for the November 8 election, also praised US House of Representative Speaker Paul Ryan after speaking with him by phone this week, calling the Republican leader a "good man."

Ryan's office said the speaker was calling all the Republican candidates to discuss a conservative policy agenda.

The New York billionaire, 69, fended off a week of attacks from the party's establishment and defied predictions his campaign might be losing steam with primary wins on Tuesday in the big prize of Michigan as well as Mississippi and Hawaii.

With Tuesday's wins, Trump increased his delegate lead as he chases the 1237 needed to win the nomination.

Trump now has 446 delegates, with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas second with 347 delegates, according to The New York Times.

Cruz, 45, who has won enough contests to present himself as a viable Trump alternative, won the endorsement of former Republican rival Carly Fiorina on Wednesday and appealed to anti-Trump Republicans to back him.

Trump has offended mainstream Republicans with his statements on Muslims, immigrants and women and are alarmed by his threats to international trade deals.

In the Democratic contest, Bernie Sanders stunned front-runner Hillary Clinton in a narrow upset in Michigan, giving his upstart campaign new energy.

Clinton won in Mississippi, but Sanders' victory in Michigan was seen as likely to ensure a prolonged fight to pick a candidate.

Clinton's campaign has been dogged by questions over her use of a private server while she was secretary of state.

Trump could open a sizeable delegate lead going into July's Republican Party nominating convention if he is able to win next Tuesday in Florida, Ohio, or Illinois, states that allot all their delegates to the winner.

If the candidates continue to split winner-take-all competitions, the race could drag on until the end of the nominating contests.