Reince Priebus Talks Donald Trump Threat: Broken Loyalty Pledge ‘Will Have Consequences,’ Won’t Work
Just another day and another headline for the Republican Party – namely, its presumptive standard-bearer in the race for President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
According to the latest news in politics, GOP Party Chairman Reince Priebus drew the line in the sand with the real estate mogul, who recently walked back his pledge of party loyalty. Simply put, Priebus fired a warning shot at Trump by signaling that his threats to run as an independent will have unintended consequences, one of which will kill his chances of being the nominee in the 2016 Elections, according to Red State.
On Sunday, Priebus made rounds on television networks and took questions about the relative health and morale of the Republican Party in the wake of Trump’s recent debacle. Recent polls show the frontrunner losing ground ahead of the Republican National Convention months away in Cleveland. And despite Hillary Clinton’s FBI probe (email server scandal) and high unfavorable numbers among women and other groups, Trump trails her in every key state, including Ohio and Florida, according to the New York Times.
Donald Trump meets with RNC chair Reince Priebus in Washington https://t.co/6TMidBA9Cu pic.twitter.com/o0AaZN9NSJ
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 31, 2016
Priebus took issue to Trump threatening a departure if he is “not treated fairly” by his party members. Chairman Priebus suggested that his comments are designed to force the party’s hand with respect to delegates and garner an advantage over his rivals. However, similar to pundits, the chairman says Trump’s plans are likely to backfire. He weighed in during a segment of ABC’s This Week.
“Those kinds of comments, I think, have consequences. And so when you make those kinds of comments and you want people to fall in line for you, it makes it more difficult.
“… And certainly, you know, if you were running for president of the Kiwanis Club or the Boy Scouts and you said you don’t know if you like the Kiwanis or the Boy Scouts, I think that makes your challenge even greater to ultimately win those kinds of posts. It’s no different for the Republican Party.”
Last Tuesday, Donald Trump nullified his so-called loyalty pledge, a document he signed months ago that promised the party he would not run independently for the White House. Experts say the move would doom the Republican Party in November and hand the election to the Democratic nominee, presumably the former Secretary of State. Surely, Trump knows this as well, and is using the threat to gather leverage and favor from his colleagues.
However, Trump is not alone; Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kashich both said they are not likely to endorse Trump if he is chosen to lead the party for POTUS.
The real estate mogul spoke to Fox News about the pledge over the weekend. He left his options open. “We’re going to have to see how I was treated,” Trump said. “I want to be treated fair.”
Priebus said a deal is a deal. The party agreed to help candidates with important statistics if they signed the pledge.
“We expect that when candidates make commitments, that they keep them.”
The loyalty pledge is not a binding agreement. Instead, it’s based on keeping ones’ word and building trust — two traits that weigh heavily should there be a brokered convention.
Reince Priebus dismissed Trump’s threat to run as an independent https://t.co/g5PC38LHHH pic.twitter.com/DbW78XfrpD
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) April 4, 2016
If Trump reaches the “magic number” of 1,237 pledged delegates, he becomes the nominee. However, if a candidate fails to meet the threshold, delegates are no longer bound to them and are free to pledge support to another contestant. Cruz and Kasich are both banking on this possibility. However, Trump has long held that he believes the person with the most delegates should be given the nod.
Over the weeks, several news outlets tossed about the possibility of having a person nominated who is not among the three remaining candidates for president. Mitt Romney, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and even Marco Rubio are a few names that are circulating as nuclear options in a contested convention.
Priebus ruled out Speaker Ryan for two reasons: he knows him closely and says Ryan doesn’t have that sort of thinking and he is not anyone’s dark horse.
In short, Reince Priebus believes Trump’s methods of playing ball may come back to haunt him and his chances of being the next leader of the free world.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]