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Priebus: Paths limited for DeSantis, Haley post-Iowa

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(The Center Square) – The former head of Wisconsin’s Republican Party and the man in charge of this summer’s Republican National Convention says he doesn’t see anyone but Donald Trump getting the nomination.

Reince Priebus told News Talk 1130’s WISN that after the former president’s resounding win in the Iowa Caucuses, Trump is the presumptive nominee.

“I think that Donaald Trump exceeded expectations,” Priebus said. “I think that he exceeded the mental threshold that Democrats and people that don’t like Trump wanted to out there. ‘Oh, he didn’t get 50%.’ I think it ended up being 51%.”

Trump doubled the vote totals of both Ron DeSantis and Nikki Halley in Monday night’s caucuses.

Priebus said that kind of victory will make it tough for either challenger to find a path forward, especially DeSantis, Priebus said.

“His play is that he is going to get second in South Carolina. That he’s going to talk to donors about whether any of these cases are going to matter, in regard to President Trump, and whether he should stay in to see how things go,” Priebus said. “[But] nothing has panned out in terms of those hopes and wishes.”

Haley, Priebus said, has a slightly different play. But he also doesn’t see it panning out.

“There is a small play that, maybe, Nikki Haley can somehow rally in New Hampshire, and somehow win in South Carolina,” Priebus said. “Her play is that she is going to have this inside straight going through New Hampshire. The reality is that Super Tuesday is March 5. Fifteen states are rolling on March 5. You need to have an enormous amount of money, and an enormous number of volunteers combined to do well in 15 state primaries,”

Priebus said that’s “a tough hill to climb.”

As for Trump’s play moving forward, Priebus said the former president needs to start running as the only Republican in the race and focus that race on President Biden,

“Act like the other campaigns don’t matter to you. Slowly focus on Joe Biden, do all of your speeches about him. Go to New Hampshire and South Carolina and start acting like you are the presumptive nominee. That’s number one,” Priebus said.” Number two, I’d start making demands through your campaign to say ‘I’m the presumptive nominee.’ And I would want the party to call me the presumptive nominee.”

Priebus said it looks more and more like nothing is going to stop the former president from getting the nomination at Milwaukee’s RNC in July.

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