“I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands,” Donald Trump announced today after meeting with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. The RNC never has issued a pledge for candidates to sign in a presidential political cycle, marveled talking heads at the TV news outlets that covered his news conference from the glistening halls of Trump Towers.
“Frankly I felt it was the best way to win and to beat the Democrats… no matter who it might be – and I think maybe Hillary is going to have a very hard time – The best way for Republicans to win is if I win the nomination and go directly against whoever they happen to put up, and for that reason I have signed the pledge.”
This as a new Monmouth U poll shows Trump with his biggest lead yet among GOP White House hopefuls, with 30%, topping closest competitor Ben Carson’s 18% and Jeb Bush’s 8%. Trump said this afternoon he got “absolutely nothing” in return, “other than an assurance I would be treated fairly.”
Getting Trump to take the pledge has been a RNC priority since the real estate mogul turned reality-TV star announced his candidacy, shot to the top of the polls, and raised his hand at the first GOP debate. He did so when Fox News moderator Bret Baier asked the main-stage candidates to raise their hand if they would not pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee and rule out running as an independent if they lost the nomination. Trump alone raised his hand. It made headlines.
After his announcement, Trump took some questions from the press. Naturally Trump got asked about Kanye West’s announcement, at the VMAs, that he will make a White House run in 2020. “I’ll never say bad about him. You know why? Because he loves Trump!” Trump said. “So, Maybe in a few years I’ll have to run against him. He’s been so nice to me. I only hit people when they hit me.”