To participate in the first Republican presidential debate on Aug. 23, candidates must meet challenging new criteria, including having at least 40,000 donors and electoral support of at least 1 percent in three approved polls. But the requirement that causes the most consternation is the commitment to support the prospective candidate.
Candidates will only be sent the pledge after they meet the other requirements, according to a person familiar with the process, and will have up to 48 hours before the debate to meet those criteria, giving them until the last minute to make a decision. . Here’s what they said:
Donald J. Trump
Unclear. Former President Donald J. Trump has not said whether he will sign the pledge.
In February, he declined to pledge his support for the eventual candidate, telling Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, « It would have to depend on who the candidate was. » But that was before the Republican National Committee made engagement a debate requirement.
Even if he signs, it’s unlikely to mean much. He signed the same promise in 2015 and then reneged on it.
Unclear. Asked last month whether he would support Mr. Trump in a general election, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t give a straight answer.
Mr. DeSantis vaguely indicated that he might commit, saying, « You respect the process and you respect the decisions of the people. » But he didn’t commit.
YES. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has indicated he will sign the pledge.
« I will support whoever the Republican candidate is running for in 2024, » he told ABC News.
Mixed messages. Former Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has suggested he will sign the pledge: « I’m going to do what I have to do to be on that stage, » he told CNN.
« I will take the promise as seriously as Donald Trump took it in 2016, » she said, adding that she considered it « pointless » and told the RNC.
YES. Nikki Haley, former Governor of South Carolina and former United Nations Ambassador, he committed upon signing the pledge.
« Absolutely irresponsible that Trump, DeSantis and others will not commit 100% to support the Republican nominee, » he said. he wrote on Twitter. « There is no room for personal vendettas in this battle to save our country. »
NO. Former Representative Will Hurd of Texas is the only candidate who has ruled out signing the pledge.
« I can’t lie to get access to a microphone » he told CNN, adding: “I will not support Donald Trump. I recognize the impact it has on my ability to enter the debate stage, but I can’t lie. »
Mixed messages. Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has excluding voting for Mr. Trump if he is convicted of a crime, but has said he will sign the pledge out of confidence Mr. Trump will not win the primary.
« You should make the promise based on the fact that Donald Trump is not going to be our candidate and you are sure of it, » he said. he told ABC News.
He the NCR asked to « clarify that there is no commitment to support a candidate if he is found guilty of espionage or a serious crime ». (The CRN I said no.) At the same time, he says it will do whatever is required because debates are important.
Mixed messages. Former Vice President Mike Pence initially appeared to be committed during a CNN Town Hall eventsaying, « I have always supported the Republican candidate for president in the United States and I will support the Republican candidate in 2024. »
But he struggled to reconcile this with his assertion that « anyone who puts himself above the Constitution, » as Mr. Trump says he has done, « should never be president. »
He said he didn’t believe Mr. Trump would win and avoided follow-up questions. « I don’t think my old running mate is going to be the Republican candidate for president, and I’m very confident, very confident, that we’ll be able to back the Republican nominee, » she said, hinting that she might not if it’s Mr. Trump.
Mixed messages. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has balked at the commitment.
In February, he said he would have made it. But last month, he gave a warning: « If the other candidates in this race make that commitment, I’ll stand by and be willing to do it. » he told Fox Newsadding, « I’m ready to play catch, but I require the other candidates to play catch as well. »
YES. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina has indicated he will sign.
« Any Republican candidate would be better than any Democratic candidate, » he told Fox Newswhile saying he was confident he would win the nomination.
YES. Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami did not vote for Trump in 2020 but says he will sign the pledge.
« I think every single Republican candidate who wants to be on the debate stage has to commit to supporting the candidate, and I will too, » he told ABC News.