Reince Priebus on Donald Trump's Taco Tweet: 'He's Trying'

Priebus said Trump is working hard to woo Hispanic voters.

May 6, 2016, 11:01 AM

— -- A tweet showing Donald Trump eating a taco bowl on Cinco de Mayo while declaring "I love Hispanics!" signals that the GOP front-runner is "trying."

That's according to Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, who told reporters on Friday that the GOP's presumptive nominee understands the importance of attracting Hispanic voters to the party, despite his past comments on undocumented immigrants.

“He’s trying. Honestly, he’s trying," Priebus told Politico's Mike Allen at a breakfast event on Friday. "I honestly think he understands that building and unifying and growing the party is the only way we're going to win. I think he gets that.”

Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2016

Trump's stance toward the nation's immigration policies have been widely criticized. He's referred to undocumented immigrants as "rapists" and "murderers" and his call for the construction of a wall along the Mexican border has become a rallying cry for his supporters.

The most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that eight in 10 Hispanic voters have a negative view of Trump.

After GOP rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the race earlier this week, elected Republicans and other prominent GOP strategists have been divided on whether to immediately endorse Trump's bid. The most prominent defection so far has come from the highest-ranking GOP elected official himself: House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Priebus said Trump called him shortly after Ryan revealed he wasn't ready to support Trump as the party's nominee. "You know, it wasn't like furious or anything," Priebus said. "It was like, what do I need to do? And so, I said 'Listen, my view is just relax and be gracious and I'll talk to Paul and we'll try to work on this.'"

Priebus said that Trump could calm fears from conservatives by releasing a short list of names to be Supreme Court nominees, suggesting that focusing on appointing a conservative to the bench would help unite the party around Trump.

"I think things like that would be helpful in kind of re-calibrating some people's minds as far as, okay, what is this about? Why do we need to support the Republican nominee?” he said.

Priebus was also asked whether it was possible for a last-minute rule change to block Trump from winning the nomination in Cleveland.

“Look, my personal view is, it is highly, highly doubtful," he said. "As I said before, the rules committee of 2016 writes the rules for the convention. I don't write the rules...nothing’s impossible, like I said, I said this many times, highly, and I add another one, highly unlikely.”

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