The Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, has assumed the mantle of presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and as an addition to that, he sent a message on unity that also suggests he is not going to work too hard to placate some party establishment figures angered by his outsider candidacy.
With his latest primary win in Indiana, where he won all 51 delegates, pushed his main rival, sen. Ted Cruz, to drop out of the race.
The one-time long-shot candidate repeatedly defied pundits’ predictions that his campaign would implode. He prevailed despite making outrageous statements along the way that drew biting criticism but fed his anti-establishment appeal.
Mr Trump is now preparing for a match-up in the November 8 general election.
Mrs Clinton is expected to be his Democratic opponent, though her march to the nomination was slowed by rival Bernie Sanders’ victory in Indiana.
Mr Trump’s immediate challenge is to unite deep fissures within the Republican Party, easing tensions with party loyalists who are appalled at his bullying style, his treatment of women and his proposals to build a wall on the border with Mexico and deport 11 million illegal immigrants.
But in a series of television interviews the morning after his victory, Mr Trump made clear he would not forget some wounds from a tumultuous primary campaign in which many establishment Republicans rejected him and spawned Stop Trump and Never Trump movements.
“I am confident that I can unite much of it, some of it I don’t want,” the 69-year-old told NBC’s Today show.
“Honestly, there are some people I really don’t want. People will be voting for me. They’re not voting for the party.”
Mr Trump also directed fire at Mrs Clinton, telling MSNBC that she was “a disaster, and she will be a disaster as president”.
Trump searching for running mate
With his nomination all but assured, Mr Trump is also searching for a running mate. He told ABC America that his choice would “most likely” be a Republican elected official with political experience.
“I’m considering a lot of people,” Mr Trump said on Fox News.
Mr Trump’s victory in Indiana and Mr Cruz’s withdrawal means he now looks to have a clear path to be formally nominated as the Republican candidate at the party convention in July, rather than battling for the prize at a contested convention.
Nonetheless, Ohio Governor John Kasich has vowed to stay in the race until California holds its primary on June 7.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus called Mr Trump the party’s presumptive nominee in a tweet, adding that the party needed to unite to defeat Mrs Clinton.
In an interview on Wednesday, Mr Priebus acknowledged achieving Republican unity would be difficult.
“It’s going to take some time but we’re going to get there,” he said on CNN.
Support for Mr Trump among national Republicans has soared in recent weeks to the highest level of the primary campaign, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.
A recent poll found Mr Trump had the support of 53 per cent of Republican participants, well above Mr Cruz at 25 per cent. Mr Kasich, the third Republican in the race, had the support of 16 per cent.