Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday the party is “ready” for the nominating convention this week in Cleveland, vowing that security is in place and presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump’s acceptance speech Thursday night will be a pivotal moment in the White House race.
“It's Thursday night, it's Donald Trump giving that speech, the balloons coming down and people saying I can see him in the White House,” Priebus told “Fox News Sunday.”
Priebus suggested Trump will be like Ronald Reagan in 1979, capable of delivering the kind of acceptance speech that took the steam out of Democratic rival Jimmy Carter’s campaign.
“I think we're in the same place,” he said.
Priebus also attempted to address heightened concerns about potentially dangerous protests or a terror attack, saying, “That’s not what I’m hearing. That’s not what police are talking about.”
He acknowledged that this election cycle, which has included clashes at Trump rallies between supporters and protesters, has “obviously been a politically charged environment.”
However, he pointed out that thousands of police officers are in Cleveland, includiing a significant Secret Service detail, and attempted to assure visitors by saying the city’s going to be “safe and lots of fun.”
Priebus also dismissed concerns about the convention being disorganized, in part because the final list of convention speakers has not been made public.
“It’s not disorganized; it’s just different,” he told Fox. “I can assure you that Donald Trump and his campaign can put on a show.”
Priebus also said one of his biggest convention goals is to create more party unity -- considering Washington Republicans and other wings of the party have been slow to embrace Trump and his unconventional campaign.
“I want to show the unification process continuing and for me,” he said. “I'm serious. I think Thursday night is a really big deal for our party. Trump delivering that consistent, measured, pointed message -- the balloons drop, the band plays, Donald Trump running for president in the White House; that's where we need to be.”