RNC spokesman: GOP will support nominee '100 percent'
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Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer said Thursday that Republicans would embrace their nominee "100 percent," even if it was Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPodesta: Trump 'unfit' for office Ukrainian oligarch could be missing link in Trump-Russia probe Trump's triumph in Riyadh proves America is back on top of the world MORE, insisting it'd likely happen before the convention this summer.
"I still think that we'll go to Cleveland with the nominee," Spicer said during an interview on CNN's "Situation Room," adding, "If we don't, then we will prepare like we do for every other contingency."
"We'll have an open, transparent, democratic process where our delegates that were elected will go there and elect a nominee, and we will go out united and win in November," he added.
Spicer noted either Donald Trump, Ted CruzTed CruzGOP talks of narrowing ‘blue-slip’ rule for judges Abortion poses hurdle for Senate healthcare bill Senator's photo spurs caption contest MORE or John Kasich needs to secure 1,237 delegates to become the nominee, saying, "When that happens, we will embrace that person."
Trump is the closest to the nomination, with 678 delegates according to The Associated Press, while Cruz has 413 and is less likely to secure the needed number before the convention in July.
It's mathematically impossible for Kasich, at 143, to secure the needed delegates before the convention. He won his home state of Ohio on Tuesday and is aiming for a contested convention in Cleveland.
Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanThis week: Congress awaits Comey testimony Trump administration faces decision on ObamaCare payments Outside money pours into marquee House race MORE (R-Wis.), the ceremonial chairman of the convention, acknowledged earlier Thursday that there's an increasing likelihood the nominee would be selected in Cleveland.
"Mathematically, every day that goes by it becomes a little bit more likely," Spicer conceded on CNN.
A group of prominent conservatives met earlier in the day Thursday to discuss the possibility of a floor fight at the convention if a "unity ticket" doesn't emerge before then to thwart Trump, the controversial front-runner.
They also raised the prospect of backing a third-party candidate to Trump and Clinton.
Spicer acknowledged that a third-party alternative to Trump or Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonThe Hill's 12:30 Report Podesta: Trump 'unfit' for office Spike Lee on Trump: Bad dancer, 'not my president' MORE would "almost" guarantee Clinton's election, calling on Republicans to unite behind whomever is their nominee.