Any candidate who wants to take part in the GOP’s first primary debate in Milwaukee later this year will have to sign a pledge promising to support whoever wins the nomination, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel said Sunday.
“We’re saying you’re not going to get on the debate stage unless you make this pledge,” McDaniel said during an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” McDaniel, who recently won her fourth term as RNC chair after a contentious battle against Harmeet Dhillon, said that Republican voters are tired of “infighting” within the party, and “want to see us come together.”
So far, three prominent candidates have entered the GOP presidential primary — former President Donald Trump, former Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. More are expected to join the race, potentially including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
McDaniel said she expects all candidates who decided to join what may become a crowded race to sign the pledge, describing it as “a no-brainer.”
“If you’re going to be on the Republican National Committee debate stage asking voters to support you, you should say, I’m going to support the voters and who they choose as the nominee,” McDaniel said.
But earlier this month, Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt his support for the GOP candidate in the general election would depend on who the nominee was.
McDaniel, however, said she believes the former president will sign the pledge. “I think they all want to be on the debate stage. I think President Trump would like to be on the debate stage. That’s what he likes to do. And I expect they will all be there.”
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