CV NEWS FEED // Former President Donald Trump has refused to sign a pledge to back the Republican nominee in the 2024 presidential election if it ends up being someone other than himself.
Trump announced his campaign shortly after last year’s midterms, in which Republicans in most states performed significantly worse than expected.
He stated his decision to forego the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) “loyalty pledge” this week in a Newsmax interview with host Eric Bolling.
“Why would I sign it?” Trump said. “I can name three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president. So right there, there’s a problem.”
While not saying who these “three or four” candidates were, he strongly implied that they were not businessman Vivek Ramaswamy or Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC. Trump said that Ramaswamy and Scott, who have both already signed the pledge, “have been very nice” to him.
Trump told Bolling that his decision to risk being barred from the debate for disobeying the RNC’s new rule is “not a question of guts. It’s a question of intelligence.”
The “Beat Biden Pledge” reads:
I affirm that if I do not win the 2024 Republican nomination of President of the United States, I will honor the will of the primary voters and support the nominee in order to save our country and beat Joe Biden.
I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party.
Trump is not the only Republican candidate who has slammed the pledge. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Rep. Will Hurd have both criticized it, with Hurd saying he would not sign it on multiple occasions. Both are known for their strong opposition to Trump’s candidacy.
The reactions to Trump’s decision have been mixed.
Daily Wire host Michael Knowles agreed with the former president.
“Of course,” Knowles said in response to the news. “What incentive could he possibly have to sign it?”
The Iowa Caucuses, which will be the first opportunity for Republican candidates to win delegates, are not scheduled to be held for another five months.
However, other conservatives have taken a much different view.
Gov. Brian Kemp, R-GA, implied that his party’s frontrunner was helping Biden’s re-election chances.
“Every Republican running for President would be better than Joe Biden,” he wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter). “Any candidate who does not commit to supporting the eventual nominee is putting themselves ahead of the future of our country.”
“2024 is too important for political games,” he concluded.
Among Republican governors, Kemp has compiled one of the most conservative track records in the country, signing a pro-life “heartbeat law,” an election integrity package, permitless carry, and a law protecting children from so-called “gender-affirming” care.
Trump and Kemp have famously butted heads over the Georgia governor’s refusal to use “emergency powers” to investigate Biden’s narrow 2020 win in the state.
Last year, Kemp turned away a primary challenge by former Sen. David Perdue, R-GA, who was endorsed by Trump, prevailing by a landslide margin of over 50 points.
Also critical of Trump’s decision was Bob Vander Plaats, the CEO of The Family Leader, an Iowa-based socially conservative group.
“As @realDonaldTrump lashes out at @KimReynoldsIA and others for lack of loyalty, he refuses to pledge @GOP loyalty to defeat the radical left agenda of @JoeBiden,” Vander Plaats said on X Thursday.
“His vision appears to be all about…him,” he added.
Vander Plaats, who is an influential figure among Iowa evangelicals, has been described in the past as a “kingmaker” in the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.
In the run-up to the 2016 election, Vander Plaats endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz, who narrowly upset Trump to win that year’s Iowa Caucuses. In the 2012 election, Vander Plaats endorsed former Sen. Rick Santorum, who also won the Iowa contest in a razor-thin upset.
The evangelical leader has not yet endorsed a candidate for 2024 but has made it clear that if he supports anybody, it will be “someone other than Trump.”