NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump says he considers himself the “presumptive nominee” of the Republican Party, despite being short of the delegates needed to claim the nomination.
Speaking after his sweep of all five of Tuesday’s GOP primaries, the Republican front-runner reiterated his calls to rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich to get out of the race.
Trump says that the Republican nomination contest is “over” as he turned his focus to his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
“I call her crooked Hillary,” he said in a speech Tuesday in New York following his five-state sweep. He said of the Republican nomination contest: “It’s over. As far as I’m concerned it’s over.”
He vowed to do more for women than Clinton will if elected president and he reiterated his criticism of her handling of the security situation at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
He repeatedly called on Clinton's Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, to run as an independent, saying "I think he'd do great."
Trump was piling up the delegates on a big night Tuesday, collecting at least 105 of the 118 delegates at stake in five states.
His five-state sweep raises the stakes for the anti-Trump effort in Indiana next week. If Trump can win the Indiana primary, he will stay on a narrow path to clinch the nomination by the end of the primaries on June 7.
Kasich will win at least five delegates in Tuesday's contests — both in Rhode Island. Cruz, meanwhile, was contending for one or two delegates, also in Rhode Island.
Eight delegates are left to be awarded.
The AP delegate count:
Ted Cruz: 559.
John Kasich: 153.
Needed to win: 1,237.