What once seemed impossible is now looking increasingly likely in the United States as bombastic business mogul Donald Trump cleans up in the primaries and sets his sights on the Republican presidential nomination.But Republican – and former ambassador to Canada – David Wilkins says it’s still too soon to say if Trump will emerge victorious, and Ottawa shouldn’t be panicking even if he wins. Story continues below
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In an interview with the West Block’s Tom Clark, Wilkins acknowledged that Trump has tapped into a deeply felt discontent among Americans and has leveraged that in a way no other candidate has been able to do. But that, in itself, may not be enough.“I think it’s way too early to declare Donald Trump the winner, and if he loses Florida and loses Ohio, then you can make a pretty good strong argument that he will not reach the threshold of 1,237,” said Wilkins.That’s the number of delegates a candidate needs at the party’s national convention to win the nomination. If Trump clears all these hurdles, Wilkins said, then many Republicans still may not back him in the presidential race against whoever is named the Democratic nominee.The emergence on the scene of former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney last week, who blasted Trump on the national stage, could signal that Romney is hoping to position himself as an alternative if it comes to a so-called “floor fight” at the convention.Whatever happens, Canada shouldn’t worry too much about a Trump presidency and the possible impact on trade, said the former ambassador.“I believe a Republican, generally speaking, whether it’s a congressman or whether it’s the president, usually more free-trader, is going to be friendlier to Canada than a Democrat,” he said.“What’s said on the campaign trail is one thing, how you govern when you’re in the Oval Office is something entirely different.”Watch the full interview above.
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