Former President Donald Trump has refused to commit to supporting the GOP's choice for a 2024 presidential nominee, a requirement set by Chair Ronna McDaniel to participate in the party's primary debates.
While Trump is the current frontrunner in the race, he told reporters at CPAC that it depended on the candidate as to whether he would support him or her.
“I’m just hearing about it for the first time, about the loyalty pledge but there are probably people that I wouldn’t be very happy about endorsing who are running,” Trump said. “So we’ll see.”
“I think some of them, I won’t use names, I don’t want to insult anybody, but some of them I would not be very happy about,” he added.
McDaniel called agreement with the pledge a "kind of a no-brainer."
“If you’re going to be on the Republican National Committee debate stage asking voters to support you, you should say, ‘I’m going to support the voters and who they choose as the nominee,’” she argued.
Back in 2016, Trump did sign a similar pledge when there were 17 different candidates in the race. When the race narrowed to only three candidates, however, he said that he might not be able to honor it.
Seven years later, he is wise enough to just say no at the outset.
Let's be honest--no one who knows Trump can imagine him supporting any other candidate than himself, no matter what he claims at this point.
McDaniel is just asking him to be dishonest if she really expects him to sign this pledge.
It's something we may not have to find out, if he does become the nominee as polls currently suggest, but there's still plenty of time before that becomes clear.
His closest rival in polls, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has not even entered the race officially yet. He is expected to jump in later this year, however.
Trump's honesty is part of his appeal and a big reason he has had the level of support that he has. It's unfair to expect him to violate that, and it makes one wonder if McDaniel wants to deny him support because she hopes another candidate might beat him.
While support from the RNC is moderately important for a candidate, particularly in terms of the fundraising support, it is not inconceivable to see a divergence at some point where the RNC supports one candidate and the majority of GOP voters another.