OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:40 PM – Sunday, June 18, 2023
On Sunday, 2024 Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie called it a “useless idea” to have GOP candidates sign a commitment to support the party’s eventual nominee in order to participate in primary debates.
“It’s only in the era of Donald Trump that you need somebody to sign something on a pledge. So I think it’s a bad idea,” the former New Jersey governor told the press.
Christie, who launched his presidential campaign earlier this month, stated that he had spoken directly to RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “So this is not the first time she’s hearing it.”
“To be up on the stage to try to save my party and save my country from going down the road of being led by three-time loser Donald Trump,” Christie said, asserting that Trump lost the House in 2018, as well as the White House and Senate in 2020, and that he was also responsible for “the worst midterm performance we have seen in a long, long time” in 2022.
“I’ll take the pledge in 2024 just as seriously as Donald Trump took it in 2016,” Christie said.
During a discussion in Cleveland in 2015, Trump, as a contender, did not rule out running for president as an independent. He eventually agreed to support the party’s eventual nominee and not run as a third-party candidate if he did not win the Republican nomination.
McDaniel has consistently advocated for needing a so-called loyalty pledge in order to participate in Republican debates, telling CNN on Friday that it was a “no-brainer.”
“Once it’s all done and the dust is settled and you’ve made your best case, if the voters choose someone else, then you need to get behind who the voters chose and make sure we beat Joe Biden,” McDaniel said. “We can’t have division. We can’t have people who get on the debate stage who are going to come out and say, ‘I’m not going to support the eventual nominee.’”
The commitment has been supported by the majority of the Republican primary field, including former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, whose campaign had tried to alter the pledge previously.
“You have to make the pledge based on the fact that Donald Trump is not going to be our nominee, and you’re confident of it. Therefore, you can sign a statement saying you’re going to support the nominee of the party. I’m not going to, you know, support, just like other voters are not going to support somebody for president who is under indictment,” Hutchinson told media outlets on Sunday.
The Republican National Committee confirmed earlier this month that the first presidential primary debate will be held on August 23rd in Milwaukee. Qualifying candidates must get at least 1% in three national polls, or a combination of national polls plus a poll from one of the RNC’s early-voting states.
Candidates will also be required to have “a minimum of 40,000 unique donors to the candidate’s principal presidential campaign committee (or exploratory committee), with at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in 20+ states and/or territories,” the RNC said in a statement.
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