RNC Walks a Tightrope as Trump Rejects Loyalty Vow

(NewsReady.com) – In 2015, there was a concern among Republicans that Donald Trump would lose the nomination and run as a third-party candidate. To try to prevent that, the party circulated a loyalty pledge. Now, they’re doing it again, but this time they’re in a bit of a bind.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has required all candidates to sign their loyalty pledge if they want to appear in the first debate. It’s essentially a promise that all of the candidates will support the party’s eventual nominee, no matter who that is.

Former President Donald Trump has refused to sign the “Beat Biden Pledge.” He has also repeatedly said he doesn’t intend to attend the first debate, telling his supporters that he doesn’t need to go. However, both the RNC and Fox News really want to see him on the debate stage because he’s a person who gets ratings.

The former president’s refusal has RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel trying to appease him while also trying to keep control of the party. Republican strategist Brian Seitchik told The Hill that there’s a very good “possibility that the Republican nominee for president [will] simply decide to shun the RNC itself.” He explained that candidates who refuse to “play by the rules […] weakens the RNC’s position.”

In July, McDaniel spoke to CNN’s Chris Wallace and told him that everyone was required to sign it. When she was asked if the pledge applied to Trump, she said it did.

Trump isn’t the only candidate who has refused to sign the pledge. Former Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) said he isn’t signing it because he doesn’t think political “parties should be trying to rig who should be on the debate stage.” He also said he would never support Trump. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called it a “useless idea.” And former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has said he wouldn’t support Trump if he’s convicted of the dozens of felony charges against him.

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