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GOP Primary: Broken Pledges and Sharpened Knives

Deep division will make victory in November elusive.

Political Editors · Mar. 30, 2016

All three remaining candidates in the GOP primary said at a town hall event Tuesday night that they no longer stand by their pledges to support the eventual nominee. In September, Donald Trump and the rest of the 17 candidates signed loyalty oaths to the eventual nominee. Trump, though, gave himself an out by saying he would break his oath if he felt he was being treated unfairly. When asked Tuesday if he considers himself bound to the loyalty oath, Trump responded, “No, I don’t anymore,” adding that he felt he had “been treated very unfairly.” He can dish it out but he can’t take it. What is Trump’s word worth? Not much more than a certificate from Trump University.

Then again, the loyalty oath isn’t exactly holding the other candidates. Ted Cruz said he would not support a candidate who attacked his wife, referring to Trump’s tweet comparing their wives’ appearance. John “Prince of light ‘n’ hope” Kasich said he wants “to see how this thing finishes out.”

Red State’s Caleb Howe wrote regarding the broken pledges, “I will tell you this, and if you fail to accept it, then you fail at truth: It’s Trump’s fault. Every other candidate would have supported the eventual nominee were it not for the poisonous Donald Trump campaign destroying all it touches. That’s just a fact y'all.”

In related news, Marco Rubio has contacted Republican Party officials in states where he won delegates and asked that those delegates remain committed to him at the GOP Convention in July. In essence, he’s trying to ensure a contested convention and block Trump from winning the nomination on the first ballot. This deep division doesn’t bode well for a party that must rally around a candidate in order to defeat Hillary Clinton in November.

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