Donald Trump is making headlines again as sources close to Trump report that he plans to sign a “loyalty pledge” that will bind him in endorsing the eventual Republican nominee, whoever it is. The signing of the pledge also precludes Trump from running as a 3rd party.
It appears that Trump made the pledge, which he has thus far rejected, in order to avoid problems with getting listed on states’ primary ballots and to shut off a line of attack in debates going forward.
Additionally, it is likely that Trump has agreed to sign the pledge in order to portray to the public that his campaign and the possibility that he may become the Republican nominee are very real. Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, did not go so far as to confirm Trump’s plan but did state that, “I don’t think you can ‘expect’ ANYTHING from Mr. Trump.”
Sources report that “The rationale is that they have treated him fairly. He’s willing to sign it to avert any problems with his state filings - South Carolina asked for a pledge to support the nominee if you’re on the ballot.”
Republican National Committee chief strategist Sean Spicer echoed those sentiments that “[Trump’s] been treated fairly, like any candidate . . . And it takes away a line of attack for debates.”
The text of the pledge is as follows: “I [name] affirm that if I do not win the 2016 Republican nomination for president of the United States, I will endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is. 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 received some major criticism for failing to make the pledge at the first Republican Candidate debate. Now, at the upcoming debate on September 16th, his attackers can not focus on that issue.