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Dan Gilmore / September 4, 2015

Big Deal: Trump Signs Piece of Paper

How about the GOP makes a loyalty pledge, instead?

On Thursday, Donald Trump announced that he, too, signed the Republican Party’s pledge to back the eventual Republican nominee for president, whoever he or she may be. Will that undermine Trump’s brash political outsider cred? Hardly. The Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus said, “I’m proud to announce that in a sign of party unity all 17 Republican presidential candidates have pledged to support our eventual nominee. … Our nominee will have a party infrastructure unlike any other to support a general election campaign.” But in recent years, the loyalty pledge hasn’t exactly been a blood oath. As National Review’s Jim Geraghty notes, two politicians in 2010 signed the same pledge that this election’s 17 candidates did but broke it to run third party. The only reason why Trump won’t run as an independent is because, as he would put it, third parties are for losers. Really, the pledge of loyalty should be the other way around. As Rush Limbaugh put it, “How about the Republican Party signing a loyalty oath to the voters? If there needs to be a loyalty oath here, it seems to me that the Republican Party elected officials would finally get around to signing one that they are gonna be loyal to their cause and loyal to their voters.” Indeed, it is the candidates who have never before pledged loyalty to the GOP, those that have never before held office, who are doing the best in this stretch of the presidential race.

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