New York businessman and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump upbraided former Republican primary candidates Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham on Saturday over their refusal to honor a pledge to support the Party’s eventual nominee at a campaign stop in Spokane, Washington.
Addressing supporters, the real estate mogul recalled the moment early in primary season when questions surrounding a possible Trump third-party bid influenced the Republican National Committee to compel all candidates to sign a fealty oath to forego an independent run and support the Party’s nominee.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Lindsey Graham both announced this week they would not support or vote for Mr. Trump, citing character issues.
“I said, ‘I’ll sign a pledge. A pledge means something. Jeb Bush, a very low-energy individual, signed the pledge. While he was signing it, he fell asleep, so maybe that’s his excuse. The only reason I speak badly about him is that he speaks badly about me’,” said Trump.
Trump continued his attacks on both Bush and Graham, calling Graham a “total dope” and refering to both as dishonorable persons.
Mr. Trump earned endorsements from former Texas governor Rick Perry and former Senator Bob Dole this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pledged his support for the eventual nominee on Wednesday.
Hours later, in an interview with ABC’s This Week host George Stephanopoulos to be aired Sunday, Trump stated he did not find the GOP required unification to win the November election.
“Does the party have to be together, does it have to be unified? I’m very different from anybody who’s perhaps ever run for office. I actually don’t think so. I think it would be better if it were unified, I think there would be something good about it, but I don’t actually think it has to be unified.
I have to stay true to my principles also. And I’m a conservative, but don’t forget, this is called the ‘Republican Party,’ not the ‘conservative party’,” Trump remarked.
[The Hill] [The Guardian] [Photo courtesy Washington Post]