Donald Trump sent Republican leadership a message during a Wednesday rally in Atlanta: Stop talking.
After the presumptive Republican nominee called President Barack Obama a “lousy negotiator except when it comes to the Republicans,” he laid into the GOP’s elected officials.
“You know the Republicans – honestly folks, our leaders, our leaders have to get tougher,” he said. “This is too tough to do it alone, but you know what I think I’m going to be forced to. I think I’m going to be forced to. Our leaders have to get a lot tougher.”
And as a nod to some of the recent criticism he’s received for both his attacks against a federal judge based on the judge’s Mexican heritage and his response to the Orlando massacre, Trump pleaded with party leaders to keep their mouths shut.
“And be quiet,” he continued. “Just please be quiet. Don’t talk. Please be quiet. Just be quiet … because they have to get tougher, they have to get sharper, they have to get smarter. We have to have our Republicans either stick together or let me just do it by myself.”
In recent days, Trump’s proposal for an indefinite ban on Muslim immigration was rejected by top Republican House leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Sens. Lindsey Graham, Lamar Alexander, and Bob Corker also expressed strong opposition to statements the New York businessman made in the wake of the Orlando shooting.
“It wasn’t the kind of response that I would expect when 50 people have perished,” Corker said Tuesday, according to an NBC News reporter. “You know, I think I’ve offered words of public encouragement in important times and continue to be discouraged by the results.”
“I continue to be discouraged by the direction of the campaign and the comments that are made,” he continued. “And I did not think yesterday’s speech was the type of speech that one would give who wants to lead this country through difficult times.”
Alexander went even further Tuesday afternoon
“We don’t have a nominee,” Alexander told an Associated Press reporter.
After being told that Trump is the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, the Republican shot back: “That’s what you say.”