Jul. 17, 2016 1:52pm Carly Hoilman
CLEVELAND (AP) — Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is banking on this week becoming a turning point in the GOP quest for the White House.
Following Donald Trump’s introduction of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, Priebus said Sunday that he expects Trump to debut his presidential side during this week’s convention in Cleveland.
“I think Thursday night’s a critical night for him, delivering a great speech, the balloon drop, the people in this country saying, ‘I can see Donald Trump being in the White House. I think he’s presidential,’” Priebus told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
The Trump-Pence pairing was designed in part to bring together fractious elements of the Republican Party on the eve of its national convention.
Priebus told “Fox News Sunday” that he expects Trump to bring a message of unity to this week’s convention, also working to attract women, young people and minorities into the party. Some have questioned whether Pence’s strong conservative stance on social issues might alienate demographic groups that lean Democrat.
Priebus described Trump and Pence as being “somewhere in the middle of each other” and says Trump plans an engagement tour soon to attract Latino voters.
Priebus also said “there is no religious test on the table,” despite Trump’s statement in December calling for a temporary ban of foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. until elected leaders could figure out “what is going on.”
Priebus told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that Trump is calling for a temporary ban on immigration from countries that harbor and train terrorists until the U.S. has a better vetting system.
The proposed ban is an example of where Trump differs from his pick for vice president. Pence immediately called Trump’s proposal in December unconstitutional.
Priebus says the selection of Pence shows Trump didn’t want to surround himself with “yes people.”