TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Could former President Donald Trump’s aversion to signing a loyalty pledge cause trouble in his home state of Florida?
The Republican Party of Florida requires candidates to sign a promise similar to the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) pledge in order to appear on the primary ballot next March.
A PROMISE TO ENDORSE THE NOMINEE
“I affirm that if I do not win the 2024 Republican nomination for President of the United States, I will endorse the 2024 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is,” the Florida GOP’s oath reads. “I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent, non-party affiliated, or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party.”
In Florida, Republican candidates have until November 22 to sign the state pledge. If Trump declines to sign the oath he will not appear on the Florida ballot on March 19 and the winner will be awarded all of the state GOP delegates – close to 10% of the total delegates needed to win the nomination.
Republican strategist and former RNC communications director Doug Heye said Trump is trying to prove that he still controls the Republican party.
“Why would anyone expect Donald Trump to back anyone other than Donald Trump?” Heye said.
“EVERYBODY HAS TO SIGN THE BEAT BIDEN PLEDGE, EVERYBODY”
Last week Trump said he would not sign the RNC pledge to support the party’s eventual presidential nominee – a move that would prevent him from appearing at the first Republican primary debate next week in Milwaukee.
“If you’re going to stand on the Republican National Committee debate stage you should be able to support the nominee and beat Biden,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told CNN. “Everybody has to sign the Beat Biden pledge, everybody. It’s across the board, the rules aren’t changing, we’ve been very vocal with them.”
When asked what the RNC would do if Trump decided to skip the debate, McDaniel responded: “Then he skips it. That’s his choice.”
Trump has opposed pledges in the past. He refused to sign the RNC pledge during his first bid for president but eventually agreed and then reversed course, telling the committee that he would ignore it if he didn’t win the nomination.