[guest post by Dana]
Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel said on Sunday that she wants any Republicans running for office in 2024 to sign a loyalty pledge. A signed pledge to be able to participate in the 2024 debates and to agree to support the 2024 nominee:
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Sunday that she expects 2024 GOP presidential contenders will have to sign a pledge to back the party’s ultimate nominee in order to participate in primary debates.
“We haven’t put the criteria out, but I expect a pledge will be part of it. It was part of 2016. I think it’s kind of a no-brainer, right? 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,’” McDaniel told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” in her first interview since winning a contentious race for a fourth term as RNC chairwoman.
McDaniel seemed to display a complete lack of knowledge and understanding about the candidate who put the nation through hell as he tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election because he is the sorest loser ever:
McDaniel said she believed all the candidates, including Trump, would sign the pledge and it would be an important move toward healing divisions within the party and having a unified front.
“We’re saying you’re not going to get on the debate stage unless you make this pledge. And I think people in our party really want to see that. They want to see us come together. They don’t want the infighting,” McDaniel said.
Of course, one immediately laughs at this because does anyone believe that Donald Trump would sign the pledge in any good faith? Of course not. Consider his spokesperson’s response to the question:
A Trump campaign spokesperson told CNN later Sunday in response to McDaniel’s pledge expectation that “President Trump will support the Republican nominee because it will be him.”
And Trump himself told Hugh Hewitt earlier this month that his support would depend on the nominee:
“It would depend. I would give you the same answer I gave in 2016 during the debates. It would have to depend on who the nominee was.”
Clearly, there is no reason to trust him if he did sign the pledge. After the debates, he could easily come up with any number of excuses for not adhering to it.
But what about other Republicans who might throw their hat in the ring in 2024? Do you think every candidate would be willing to sign the pledge, especially as, at least at this point, Trump continues to maintain a significant lead over the announced and yet unannounced possible candidates?
Moreover, what if NeverTrump candidates run? If Liz Cheney, the most prominent NeverTrump politican, announced that she would be running for the presidency, do you think she would she be willing to sign the pledge? If she did, she would be rightfully lambasted as a hypocrite who was putting Party over principles and her reputation would be kaput. You just don’t risk your political career and subsequently lose it for an unwavering stand on Constitutional principles, only to do a 360 for the sake of a loyalty pledge. If you recall, Cheney blasted Trump as unfit for office at the last of the Jan. 6 public meeting, saying:
“In addition to being unlawful as described in our report, this was an utter moral failure and a clear dereliction of duty … No man who would behave that way, at that moment in time, can ever serve in any position of authority in our nation again. He is unfit for any office.”
So how could she possibly sign such a pledge.
On the other hand, Nikki Haley
is a question mark will sign anything that keeps her in the running. She already flip-flopped when she said that she wouldn’t run if Trump ran, and yet, here she is. She also said in 2021 that Trump had no future in the GOP and yet here they both are.
And then there’s former Gov. Larry Hogan, whose name has been bandied about as a possible candidate for 2024 but has already made it clear that he would not support Donald Trump if he were the nominee:
“I’m a lifelong Republican who wants to support the nominee of the party, whoever that is. However, you know, I’ve said before, I didn’t support Trump, I wouldn’t support Trump,” Hogan said during an exclusive interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
Hogan also poo-pood the “loyalty pledge,” saying:
“I think it’s kind of silly because it’s not going to happen,” he said.
“I mean, if they say you’re not gonna be on the debate stage, if you won’t commit to support the nominee, then President Trump won’t be on the debate stage,” Hogan said. “And I don’t think anybody believes that that’s going to happen.”
To be clear, my position on Trump hasn't changed. Trump won't commit to supporting the Republican nominee, and I won't commit to supporting him. As I have repeatedly said, I fully expect to support the Republican nominee — who I don't believe will be Trump.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) February 2, 2023
McDaniel is putting some possible 2024 candidates in a no-win position. Republicans like Cheney or Kinzinger or Romney or Hogan, etc., would be loath to sacrifice their already-established positions on Trump by signing such a demand. But perhaps that’s part of the goal… However, other possible candidates for 2024 (DeSantis, Cruz, Rubio, Scott, Pompeo, Pence, and I would throw Haley into this group) who have carefully walked the tightrope in their criticism/comments about Trump or even defended his post-election lies, would no doubt fall in line and sign it.