Former President Trump has announced that he will not sign a loyalty pledge to the Republican Party, casting uncertainty over his participation in future GOP debates. In an interview with Newsmax, he dismissed the idea of making such a pledge, claiming it would be pointless. He specifically expressed his frustration with the low requirements for candidates to participate in the debates, arguing that it gives candidates with low polling percentages a platform to criticize him unfairly.
Trump told Newsmax’s Eric Bolling:
“I wouldn’t sign the pledge. Why would I sign a pledge if there are people on there that I wouldn’t have?”
“I wouldn’t have certain people as, you know, somebody that I endorse. So they want you to sign a pledge. I can name three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president. So right there, there’s a problem right there. There’s a problem.”
Trump also expressed disdain for having to debate candidates with marginal support, stating that they would only use the opportunity to ask him “nasty” questions. He singled out some candidates by name, such as Asa Hutchinson and Chris Christie, who are polling at extremely low percentages. Trump’s stance appears to be rooted in a belief that engaging with such candidates would not be a fair or wise move for someone in his leading position.
To reinforce his point, Trump referred to past decisions made by Republican Presidents Reagan and Nixon, who chose to skip primary debates. He explained his reluctance by questioning the logic of debating when leading by a wide margin, emphasizing the need for a “smart” decision.