Donald Trump on Thursday signed the Republican National Committee pledge saying he will support the Republican nominee – and therefore not run as an independent candidate – if he loses the GOP nod.
Asked if he would support Trump as Republican nominee over Clinton in the November 2016 contest, Jeb Bush said, “I would, of course”.
The 69-year-old billionaire, who announced his decision after meeting with Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, said he got “absolutely nothing” for pledging his loyalty “other than the assurance that I’ll be treated fairly”.
“No”, said Trump, who leads his 16 Republican rivals – including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – in the polls.
For Trump, this is his official declaration of allegiance to the Republican Party, so this should help calm down some of the Republicans who feared he was going to sabotage the campaign and party.
Political parties at the state level often ask candidates to sign loyalty pledges, but this is believed to be the first time the Republican Party has done it nationally.
“He attacks me every day – he personalizes everything”, Bush told Spanish-language reporters at a Miami campaign event, according to Politico. Or as Lizz Winstead put it on Facebook, “The “Loyalty Pledge” the GOP demanded of Trump will last slightly longer than the “Virginity Pledge” they demand of their daughters”.
The document Trump signed Thursday is a pledge, not a contract.
To the dismay of GOP leaders, Trump has emerged as the overwhelming leader in a crowded field, despite repeatedly insulting key constituencies and offering few details about his policies. Ted Cruz, who are tied for third at 8%.
Donald Trump did something Thursday that he’s refused to do since he jumped into the Republican race: He vowed to back the party’s eventual nominee in the general election even if it’s not him.
Voters in New Hampshire said Mr. Trump’s appeal is his willingness to shake up the party establishment.
A Republican official, speaking on condition of anonymity to in order to discuss private conversations, said there were signals indicating Trump was likely to sign the pledge.
In his interview with Breitbart, Trump also criticized another GOP presidential challenger, Sen. “There’s any number of excuses he could come up with to run as an independent”.
The pledge is not legally binding, however, and Trump has been known to be unpredictable.
Trump’s son, Eric, tweeted out a photo of his father holding a copy of the signed pledge (which Trump or someone else dated incorrectly, writing “August” rather than September).
Mr Trump said he changed his mind because of his soaring poll figures and said that winning the Republican ticket was the “absolute best way” to win the White House.