Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus fired back at Charles Koch on Sunday after the conservative billionaire told ABC News it was “possible” Hillary Clinton could make a better president than the remaining candidates in the GOP primary.
Priebus said Koch was going out of his way to appear non-partisan.
"Charles in particular has often times gone out of his way to appear non-partisan and maybe he is,” Priebus said on ABC’s "This Week." “They have their own activities they work on, we have ours. There isn’t that much intersection between the two."
Koch said he was sitting out the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer and he's not alone. A handful of Republican senators up for reelection in tight races have indicated they will skip it, likely hoping to avoid the potential spectacle or to distance themselves from frontrunner Donald Trump. Among them, Arizona Sen. John McCain said he probably won't go while Senators Mark Kirk and Kelly Ayotte said clearly they will not.
Despite the prominent passes, Priebus believes it will be a "pretty historic event" worth being there for.
"Some people gravitate toward that conflict. Other people run from that conflict," Priebus said. "It's going to be up to the individual."
Priebus, who has called for party unity in recent days, also made clear that if Trump is the nominee, an anti-Trump, third-party run by conservatives would be a "dumb idea."
“I've talked to lots of folks within the party and the conservative movement and they all conclude that it's a dumb idea and it's never going to work and it's not going to happen,” Priebus said.
Priebus said it was essential for the Republican Party to come together and support the nominee in November.
“We're working hard to make sure that we've got an open and fair convention so that we get to that place where we can unify around one person,” he added.
Despite uncertainty at the top of the ticket, Priebus said Republicans are ready for a general election fight. After a new attack ad from Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump, Priebus assured that the RNC is ready to hit back.
“There's going to be plenty of return fire, I can assure you of that."