Donald Trump declared on Wednesday that he will not consent to the RNC’s insistence that he make such a promise in order to take part in the first primary debate.
In an interview with Newsmax’s Eric Bolling, the former president declined to sign the commitment and said he would make an announcement about his plans for the Aug. 23 first debate next week.
“I wouldn’t sign the pledge,” Trump said. “Why would I sign a pledge if there are people on there that I wouldn’t have?”
Trump to decide on debate participation next week:
Trump says he will say next week whether he’s debating but also says he “wouldn’t” sign the RNC pledge to support the eventual nominee, which would appear to be the answer as to whether he is going to do it. https://t.co/llDOApN9Ow
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 10, 2023
In the course of the conversation, he explicitly criticized Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, naming “three or four” GOP presidential rivals whom he would not support.
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel Asserts: Pledge to Support Voters a Must for GOP Nomination:
Republican presidential candidates must now sign the commitment in order to take part in the debate later this month, according to RNC chair Ronna McDaniel. Because of his reservations about Trump’s campaign, former Texas representative Will Hurd (R) decided not to sign the promise.
Christie and Hutchinson have also questioned the pledge’s validity and enforceability.
It’s the Republican Party nomination, and the pledge is staying and anybody who wants to seek the nomination of our party should pledge to support the voters.
Although Trump has frequently hinted that he would not show up for the primary debate, the Republican frontrunner indicated on Wednesday that he had not “totally ruled it out.”
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“I’d like to do it,” Trump said. “I’ve actually gotten very good marks on debating talents. But you want to be, you know, they want a smart president. They want somebody that’s going to be smart. So we have to do the smart thing.”
“I’d like to do it,” Trump said. “I’ve actually gotten very good marks on debating talents. But you want to be, you know, they want a smart president. They want somebody that’s going to be smart. So we have to do the smart thing.” More Ron or what! ( the presidential debates)
— Victor Smith (@ParadoxU2) August 10, 2023
If Trump does choose to take part in the debate, he will probably do so alongside Christie, DeSantis, Sen.
Tim Scott of South Carolina, former Vice President Mike Pence, ex-Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota, have all satisfied the RNC’s requirements for participation.