Republican National Committee leader Reince Priebus on Sunday defended the presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump against the recent onslaught of negative news stories, saying voters are more concerned about which candidate is going to “bring an earthquake to Washington."
Priebus on “Fox News Sunday” repeatedly argued that Trump is the candidate who will satisfy an electorate angry about few good jobs and other issues, compared to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, regardless of what the billionaire businessman did roughly 30 years ago, before running for elected office.
“I don’t think Donald Trump and his personal life are what people are looking at. The bigger question is: Between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who’s going to have a more efficient government?” said Preibus, who is trying to get establishment Republicans, conservatives and other members of the party behind Trump.
“Who is going to blow up the system,” Priebus continued. “People are angry, and I think Donald Trump is the one to do it.”
Last week, The New York Times published an in-depth story about Trump’s personal and professional life with women, dating back to his prep school days.
And The Washington Post had a story about Trump allegedly promoting himself by pretending to be a publicist named John Miller. (Trump has denied being the voice on a recently released audio tape, but has acknowledged in the past having used the ruse with the New York media.)
“I get that this stuff is interesting, but it doesn’t move the dial one notch,” said Priebus, who argued Trump is an unconventional, first-time candidate who has so far been able to overcome mistakes and the storm of criticism that follows.
Nevertheless, Priebus acknowledged that Trump refusing last week to release his tax returns could be a problem, arguing that 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney releasing his late in the election cycle was damaging.
“Romney paid a dear price,” he said.
And he said that Trump will ultimately have to address the question with voters about whether his behavior is acceptable.
“Donald Trump is going to have to answer the questions,” Priebus said.