Former President Donald Trump balked at signing a vow to back the Republican Party’s eventual presidential nominee, potentially igniting a dispute with the RNC.
Candidates who wish to take part in RNC-sponsored primary debates must sign the commitment, according to RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel. The front-runner in the campaign, however, Mr. Trump, said to reporters at CPAC that it depends on the candidate.
The loyalty promise is something I’m just learning about, although there are certainly some candidates that are running who I wouldn’t be too delighted to endorse. We’ll see, then.
I would not be very happy about any of them, he continued, declining to identify any individuals out of respect.
Republicans have long worried that if Mr. Trump is defeated in the 2024 nomination contest, he may abandon the party and run as an independent.
It’s “sort of a no-brainer,” according to Ms. McDaniel, who recently made an appearance on CNN, to require candidates to sign the pledge.
If you’re going to ask people to support you during a debate hosted by the Republican National Committee, you should say, “I’m going to support the voters and whoever they choose as the nominee.”
When there were 17 candidates fighting for the nomination in 2016, Mr. Trump took a similar action by swearing allegiance to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Mr. Trump warned he might not keep the promise when the campaign was down to three candidates.
The Republican presidential race for 2024 is starting to take shape. Currently, Mr. Trump is going up against Nikki Haley, who served as his ambassador to the United Nations. Together with the more well-known candidates, the field also has businessmen Vivek Ramaswamy and Perry Johnson.
Later this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence are anticipated to run. Mike Pompeo, a former secretary of state, is also thinking about running.