Donald Trump, who bills himself the ultimate outsider, is pivoting increasingly to the power centers of official Washington as he tries to clinch the Republican presidential nomination.
His new campaign chief, Paul Manafort, called on the Republican National Committee last week to assure them that the brash billionaire is only "playing a part" onstage and would soon start to display "more depth ... the real person," in new settings. Trump is delivering what's being billed as a major foreign policy address to the National Press Club on Wednesday. And the campaign wants to work with elected and party leaders — including the ultimate Washington insider, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"What we're trying to do right now is work with the Mitch McConnells" on party business, Mr. Manafort said on "Fox News Sunday."
"We have to work with these people," he said. "What I was tasked to do this past week, including going to the RNC meeting, was to (convey) that the campaign cares about them and we will run some traditional elections."
Though Trump is now the only GOP candidate who can clinch the party's presidential nomination before the July convention, it's far from clear that Republicans want to work with Trump.
"It's pretty split," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in ABC's "This Week," of the delegates who choose the nominee.
They spoke ahead of a quintet of Northeastern Republican and Democratic primaries Tuesday: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut. In the Democratic race, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continued their bout, with Sanders saying on ABC he'd consider backing Clinton should she win their contest. Clinton, meanwhile, was campaigning at churches and later at a GOTV event in Connecticut.
But for the Republicans, in particular, the stakes are high as Trump looks to sweep the remaining contests and reach the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
Trump is the only Republican candidate who could clinch before July. Ted Cruz was mathematically eliminated Tuesday after Trump's big win in the New York primary. There aren't enough delegates left in future contests for either Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich to reach 1,237 delegates. Their only hope is to block Trump and force a contested convention.
For his part, Trump this weekend told his supporters in Connecticut that he has to "rant and rave" onstage to keep people from falling asleep. And he declared he has no intention of reversing any of his provocative policy plans, including building a wall along the length of the Southern border.
"Everything I say I'm going to do, folks, I'll do," he said.
Trump's rivals aren't buying it.
"You can't turn negatives around overnight," Kasich said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation." ''You just can't talk your way out of it."