Fear Of A Clinton White House May Unite GOP Behind Trump

As presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan took small steps toward mending their rift Friday, other prominent members of the GOP remained loudly resistant to Trump.

Ryan had sent tremors through the political world Thursdaywhen the top-ranking Republican told CNN he was "not ready" to endorse Trump, who solidified his grasp on the party's nomination with his victory in the Indiana primary on Tuesday.

According to Republican strategist Ford O'Connell, some Trump critics are genuine in their conviction that he should not be president, but the real concern for many is that they do not believe he can beat Hillary Clinton.

"You want to know where most of Donald Trump's problems will go away is if he can show himself to be competitive with Hillary Clinton in the general election," he said.

"A lot of them can be won over if they think that Trump can win...They understand the stakes of the election, whether or not they want to admit it," O'Connell said.

O'Connell said Ryan's public hesitation to back Trump is not surprising, but he also speculated that it was partly a bit of political theater.

Read more from Stephen Loiaconi at Sinclair Broadcast Group

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Analysis & Political Strategy