Donald Trump fired a warning shot at establishment Republicans on Thursday — cautioning that if he fails to win the GOP presidential nomination, he’ll run as an independent and take “millions” of voters with him.
“Do I want to? No. I’m leading by a lot with Republicans,” the GOP presidential front-runner said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.
“The establishment — they want to throw that right out the window. Because if I get out, all those people are going, they’re all going with me.”
Trump, who leads Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in national polls by double digits, said he is aware of the aggressive multimillion dollar effort some Republican super PACs have launched in a desperate bid to torpedo his run for the White House.
“They’re spending now $100 million on negative, phony ads on Trump University,” the billionaire developer said, referring to his controversial real-estate college some have alleged is a scam.
Trump also bristled about the Republican National Committee pledge he and GOP lawmakers signed stating they would support whomever the GOP nominee. Some of those lawmakers are now publicaly reneging.
Trump hinted he’s ready to bail and launch an independent run unless the GOP falls in line and backs him.
“I signed a letter with the RNC and I said I want to do this as a Republican. But I’m not being treated the right way, I’m not being treated properly,” Trump told host Joe Scarborough.
“Whether I ran as an independent or not, those people will never go out and vote. They didn’t vote for Romney last time.”
He was referring to Mitt Romney’s crushing loss to President Barack Obama in 2012.
Romney will give a “state of 2016 presidential election” address in Salt Lake City on Thursday — a speech in which he reportedly call Trump a “fraud” and a “phony.”
In a preemptive strike, Trump reminded Scarborough that Romney “begged” him for his endorsement four years ago.
He is a hypocrite ahead of the speech, pointing out that Romney took his endorsement in 2012 when running for president, a campaign he labelled a “disaster.”
“The biggest story in all of politics isn’t so much what’s going on with Mitt Romney, it’s the fact that the Republicans are gaining millions and millions of people because of me,” Trump said.
“Millions of people are joining the GOP, and they’re leaving the Democrats and they’re leaving independents and they’re joining the GOP.”