After the Republican National Committee recognized Donald Trump as its presumptive nominee, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota asked Chairman Reince Priebus if he felt the need to start drinking first thing the next morning.
On Wednesday’s New Day morning program, Priebus told Camerota that Ted Cruz’s exit from the race after a devastating loss in Indiana had come as a complete surprise to him.
“When this race started, did you ever think this is where you would be?” Camerota asked Priebus.
“I think something different and something new is probably good for our party,” the chairman speculated. “Without Ted Cruz in the race, who did something I agree was very gracious last night and unexpected… I was surprised.”
“There seems to be something of a mutiny among high profile conservatives who are basically jumping ship,” the CNN host noted. “What do you say to those people?”
“It’s not easy,” Priebus admitted. “We are going to get there because Hillary Clinton and the Supreme Court and getting our debt under control and signing a budget bill that Paul Ryan drafts up is going to be important to the future of our country. And I think people have got to understand that the words ‘President Hillary Clinton’ is something that we can’t stand for.”
Camerota pointed out that Priebus had a lot of work to do because recent polling showed that only 7 percent of conservatives considered the party united.
During an April interview, Priebus had offered an oddly specific denial when asked if he was depressed about the presidential race.
“People assume oh, are you – you must be miserable. You’ve got a horrible job. But I don’t see it that way,” Priebus told CNN at the time. “I’m not pouring Baileys in my cereal, I’m not sitting here trying to find a Johnnie Walker.”
On Wednesday, Camerota revisited the topic.
“Are you pouring Bailey’s on your breakfast cereal yet?” the CNN host wondered.
“No I didn’t have to,” Priebus replied with a forced chuckle. “I had plenty of coffee already this morning. No need! No need! No Bailey’s yet.”
“Heh, heh,” the chairman laughed despondently to himself as the interview concluded.
“It does sound like he has the Bailey’s handy though,” CNN co-host John Berman observed.
Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast May 4, 2016.