Donald Trump Planning On Running As Third Party Candidate?

Donald Trump has a history of political flip-flopping. Recently, he changed his stance regarding abortion (again) in the face of political pressure. Once upon a time, Trump was an avowed pro-choice supporter. Since he’s decided to throw his hat in the ring with the GOP in an effort to secure a path to the White House in 2016, Donald Trump has called himself pro-life. Just this week, he went on the record saying that women who obtain elective abortions “should be punished.” When his comments drew intensive criticism, The Donald released a statement saying that he believed only those who perform abortions should be punished in the event that abortion ever become illegal in United States.

Now, Donald Trump is flip-flopping again. This time, he’s (once again) changing his mind about whether to run as a third party presidential candidate in the 2016 general election.

Trump In Wisconsin
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]
Back in September, 2015, Donald Trump signed a “loyalty pledge,” essentially promising two things. As CNN reported, when Trump signed the RNC’s loyalty pledge, he agreed not to run as a third party candidate, as well as to support the GOP’s presidential nominee should that person not be him.

“The best way for the 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. So I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and for the conservative principles for which it stands.”

Since signing that RNC loyalty pledge in September, Donald Trump has repeatedly wavered on his promise. In February, Trump insinuated to a room full of attendees at a town hall event in South Carolina that he was keeping his options for a potential third party presidential bid open. Without expressly threatening to run against the GOP, ABC reports that Donald Trump made it clear that if he did make such a decision, it would be the fault of the RNC. In a nutshell, if he violates his pledge, it would be because the RNC broke their agreement first and (as The Donald has repeatedly accused) has “treated him unfairly.”

“The whole room was made of special interests and donors, which is a disgrace from the RNC. The RNC better get its act together because, you know, I signed a pledge. The pledge isn’t being honored by the RNC.”

Now it appears that Donald Trump is refusing to rule out a third party presidential run. In an interview with Chris Wallace that is set to air on Fox News Sunday on Sunday morning, CNN reports that Trump is taking a “wait and see” attitude.

Trump Face
[Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images]
While the entirety of the Donald Trump/Chris Wallace interview won’t air until Sunday, excerpts of the interview were released tonight (Friday). In those excerpts, Trump said he has not yet made a decision regarding whether or not to potentially run as an Independent in November. However, if the former reality TV star does choose to run as a third party candidate, it could “scramble” the 2016 presidential race.

“I want to run as a Republican. I will beat Hillary Clinton. I’m gonna have to see how I was treated. It’s very simple.”

In this latest example of Donald Trump flip-flopping on his political affiliation in the 2016 race, he once again referenced his “unfair” treatment by the Republican National Committee.

Donald Trump isn’t the only GOP candidate who has backed away from the idea of supporting a rival candidate should he fail to attain the Republican nomination. On Tuesday, during a CNN town hall event, Donald Trump’s two challengers Ted Cruz and John Kasich also failed to re-up their promises to support the eventual GOP presidential nominee.

Donald Trump’s flip flop this week comes on the heels of declining poll numbers and increasing concern that Trump will be unable to secure the 1,237 delegates required to ensure the Republican nomination. Donald Trump’s rivals (even those not directly competing against him in the Republican primaries) have largely banded together to prevent him from reaching that magic number. Rather, Donald Trump’s Republican detractors are doing everything in their power to force a brokered convention in July, effectively rendering all of the state primary elections invalid and allowing delegates to vote for whomever they choose at the Republican National Convention.

Despite having a healthy lead in the current delegate count, Trump will need to win the remaining primaries by substantial margins in order to ensure the Republican nomination. If he doesn’t manage to get to 1,237 delegates, it appears as though Donald Trump is keeping his presidential options open.

[Image Courtesy Of Scott Olson/Getty Images]

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