(RightWing.org) – Right now, former president Donald Trump is well ahead in the race to become next year’s Republican nominee. However, he’s now refused to sign a key loyalty pledge the Republican National Committee (RNC) is imposing on candidates for its primary debates.
The Republican Party’s first primary debate will take place on August 23 at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Arena. To restrict it to serious candidates, the RNC has set eligibility criteria for attendees. They need to consistently come in above 1% in at least three polls. They need to have had at least 40,000 unique donors spread across at least 20 states or territories. And — this is the tricky one — they need to sign a “beat Biden pledge” confirming that if they don’t win the nomination, they’ll support whoever does and won’t run as an independent candidate.
Trump easily meets the first two criteria, but he’s refusing to sign the pledge. This isn’t exactly a huge surprise; as early as February, he wouldn’t confirm that he’ll support the party’s nominee if it isn’t himself. On August 10, he drove the point home, telling Newsmax’s Eric Bolling that “There are people on there that I wouldn’t have.” That’s a pretty clear warning that at least some of his GOP rivals are people Trump wouldn’t back in next year’s general election — and it leaves him with the option of running as an independent if he isn’t the Republican candidate. That would almost certainly hand the election to the Democrats by splitting the Conservative vote, so it’s the nightmare scenario for the RNC.
Just to complicate things even more, two other candidates — former governors Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson — have pleaded with RNC chair Ronna McDaniel to drop the pledge. They also say there’s someone on the list they wouldn’t have, and in both cases, it’s Trump. If the GOP is to have any chance next November, it needs to get its leading candidate and the rest of the party to work together a lot better than they are right now.
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