Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus criticized Mitt Romney and other Republicans on Thursday for refusing to fully throw their support behind Donald Trump, calling it "unfathomable" and "maddening."
Priebus was asked on the Mike Gallagher Show about Romney, John McCain, and Marco Rubio, who said on Wednesday that he would skip the Republican convention in Cleveland after having previously offered to speak there. Priebus argued that by taking critical positions on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, they risked making past efforts to win Congress for the Republicans into a waste of time and money.
"It's important for those folks to understands that support for someone else or nobody is support for Hillary Clinton," Priebus said. "And Sonia Sotomayor and a lot more of them on the Supreme Court. So they're not just screwing around with the next four years. Some of these folks are screwing around with the next 40 years. So if you actually believe in this stuff and you actually want to have a conservative Supreme Court, and you think it matters, and you want someone to actually sign a budget bill that balances the thing hopefully within the next ten years for God sakes, then you're gonna need a Republican in the White House. Otherwise we're just wasting everyone's time and money."
Priebus went on to say, "Okay, so you win the Senate, you keep the House and now we just say well, some of these folks, 'I don't know if I'm on board yet.' Well then, what are you doing, you're just wasting your time, you're wasting everybody's money, you're wasting your breath. This is it. We have the House. We have the Senate, we need to win the White House, this is our chance to actually govern in this town and change things for the better. And for some people to take a pass, it is unfathomable why people would have that attitude."
"It's maddening," he added, echoing Gallagher, the host of the radio show.
That part of the interview finished with Priebus saying that Republicans critical of Trump would be "complaining and blaming" if Clinton won, but added that turnout in the in the Republican primaries had been historically high.
"So you know, I just think we need to also look at the positive, which is for the most part we're breaking records when it comes to Republicans participating but we have a few voices out there, and it's their right to speak, that are making it more difficult than it needs to be," he said.
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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