Former President Donald Trump announced this week that he would not sign a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee for president. Trump’s decision echoes an earlier debate during the 2016 primary season and could have wide-reaching impacts on the nominating contest.
The former president made the announcement on Newsmax, stating that “when you’re at 75, 78, 80%, and other guys are 0, 1%, 2%, 3%, you do say, ‘What’s the upside? Am I going to go up one point?’”
Trump said that the other candidates could gain some in the poll, adding that his opponents are “not dumb people.”
However, he said that his main concern regarding the future debates is a requirement by the Republican National Committee (RNC) that in order to engage in the primary debates, candidates must promise to support the eventual GOP nominee.
Donald Trump said he won’t sign a pledge to support the Republican nominee if he loses the GOP presidential primary, flouting a requirement for appearing in the first debate. The former president said he will announce next week whether he’ll participate. https://t.co/o2uEKGDFte
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 10, 2023
“I wouldn’t sign the pledge,” he said. “Why would I sign a pledge if there are people on there that I wouldn’t have? I wouldn’t have certain people as, you know, somebody that I’d endorse.”
The former president stated that there were “three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president. So there is a problem right there.”
Host Eric Bolling asked which candidates Trump would not support, to which he replied that there was “no reason to insult them but there are some people there that a lot of people wouldn’t endorse.”
Trump added that those candidates would not “go anywhere” and would not receive the nomination.
“But I wouldn’t endorse them,” he said.
When pressed by Bolling whether or not he would sign the RNC pledge, Trump became more specific about candidates he would not prefer.
Trump cited former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), who he said was “polling at zero,” and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who Trump said would “ask me nasty questions.”
During the fight for the 2016 Republican nomination, Trump gained attention for not pledging to support the party’s eventual nominee. He then recanted and promised to support the winning candidate.
As the GOP primaries continued, Trump then stated that he would not promise to support the party’s nominee.
He said at the time that he wanted to “see how this finishes out.”