WASHINGTON — Finding unity is in the Republican Party’s best interest, but whether Donald Trump and party leaders are able to find common ground is a “tough objective,” former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw told WTOP.
Brokaw chatted with WTOP’s Mike Moss and Joan Jones on Thursday morning, ahead of the much-anticipated face-to-face meeting between Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“It’ll be a bit of a sparring match, I guess,” said Brokaw. But then, he predicted, a familiar scene will probably play out, with both parties emerging from the meeting claiming, “Well, we had differences but we came to common agreement.”
“We’ve all seen this in Washington before,” Brokaw said.
Even so, there are still going to be underlying tensions heading into the GOP convention in Cleveland. “Because Trump has been on a roll,” Brokaw said. “He’s won the vast majority of the primaries. The question is, did he win the vast majority of Republican votes? No. There were more votes against him than there were for him. But under the rules he is, clear and away, the presumptive nominee.”
Trump has seen so much success, Brokaw said, because he has managed to galvanize an angry electorate that believes there are two Americas.
“Separate and unequal, the people and the political establishment,” said Brokaw, adding that he thinks the disconnect extends to how people feel about the media.
“They don’t think we have a feel for what they’re going through — the uncertainty about the economy, the threat of another terrorist attack of some kind, the things that don’t get done because of government regulation,” he said.
Brokaw said he understands why the electorate is angry.
“The real question is, how do you focus that anger so that everybody moves forward?”