Candidates running for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination will be asked by the Republican National Committee to sign a pledge of allegiance supporting the party’s eventual nominee as a final step in qualifying for the first debate this summer News reports.
Republican candidates must now meet polling and donor thresholds before being presented with the pledge, which they must sign to qualify for the debate Fox News is hosting Aug. 23 in Milwaukee.
The change would effectively prevent candidates from using the promise as an excuse for not participating in the debate and shows the RNC is determined to pressure candidates to support the Republican who will challenge President Joe Biden next year . It was first reported by ABC News.
Earlier this month, the RNC announced the minimum requirements for debate participants. Candidates should have at least 1% support in three polls, have at least 40,000 unique donors “with at least 200 unique donors per state,” and sign the pledge, the party said.
RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel defended the controversial requirement last week. tells Fox News’ Kayleigh McEnany that the “promise remains”.
“Anyone who wants to seek our party’s nomination should make a commitment to support voters,” McDaniel said. “If you go through this process and you take your time in the debate phase and you’re going to be there, Biden should be surpassed as the most important pledge.” It’s not called the “Beat Biden Pledge” for nothing.”
“And if we can’t commit to supporting the candidate voters chose, then you don’t deserve to be on the stage of the Republican primary debate,” she continued.
Trump critics, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former Texas Rep. Will Hurd, have objected to the promise.
Christie, who called it a bad idea said last week that he would still do what is necessary “to be on the stage and try to save my party and my country from walking down the path of leadership by three-time loser Donald Trump.” In a CNN interview, he added He added that he “will take the promise in 2024 as seriously as Donald Trump did in 2016.”
During a debate in 2015, Trump brought up the possibility of a third-party candidacy. He finally signed in 2016, but later, a pledge to support the party’s election said he would give it up.
The former president, who remains the GOP’s frontrunner despite two criminal charges, has not committed to signing the 2024 pledge or debating other candidates.
NBC News, citing unnamed sources, on Wednesday reported Trump is “examining options for counter-programming in the first debate.”
Earlier this week, Trump complained on Truth Social that Fox News didn’t cover his events and “then wants me to show up and give them ratings for their ‘presidential’ debate, where I’m leading by 40 points.”
“All they do is promote Ron DeSanctimonious against all odds, and he falls like a stone. Sorry FoxNews, that’s not how life works!!!” he added.
So is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (right), who ranks second behind Trump in most polls dodged Questions about signing the pledge.
Earlier this month, Hutchinson asked the RNC to change its pledge after Trump was indicted by a federal grand jury over his handling of top-secret documents. The RNC denied his request.
Hutchinson will meet the RNC’s requirements to qualify for the debate, his campaign manager said said ABC News.
In an interview with CNN last week, Hurd ruled out signing the pledge.
“I don’t think the parties should try to manipulate who should be on a debate stage,” Hurd said, adding that he also doesn’t expect Trump to sign the treaty.
“It’s not my job to lie to the American people to get a microphone. And I will not support Donald Trump. And so I can’t honestly say I’m going to sign anything, even if he’s the candidate or not,” he said.
The debate will be moderated by Fox News’ Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.