In an interview Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation”, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus suggested that there may be consequences for the GOP’s 2016 presidential primary candidates who do not endorse Donald Trump.
In the summer of 2015, 16 Republican contenders signed a “loyalty pledge”, promising to support the party’s eventual nominee. To-date, five of those candidates have yet to get behind the New York businessman’s White House campaign.
“Those people need to get on board,” said Priebus. “And if they’re thinking they’re going to run again someday, I think that we’re going to evaluate the process — of the nomination process and I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for them.”
“I think people who gave us their word, used information from the RNC, should be on board,” he continued.
Specifically, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have yet to at least vocally support Donald Trump’s candidacy.
Some of those who have withheld a Trump endorsement offered colorful quotes on the issue, including Sen. Cruz, who told the Texas GOP delegation July 21 in Cleveland, that the “pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander and attack [my wife] Heidi, that I’m going to nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog and say thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father.”
As Cruz emerged as a frontrunner during the primary campaign, Trump accused Cruz of being ineligible for the presidency given his Canadian birthplace, insulted Heidi Cruz’s physical appearance and suggested his father, Rafael, was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy.
In a Facebook post in May, Jeb Bush wrote that “Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament of strength of character [to be president]. He has not displayed a respect for the Constitution. And, he is not a consistent conservative.”
“Face the Nation” host John Dickerson also asked Preibus about the fairness of the presidential debate process, which Trump accused of being “rigged”, due to the selection of certain moderators and scheduled dates which may not garner the highest possible television ratings.
“I think it’s (fair),” said Preibus. “And I think people are ready to move forward and move on with this. And I think that first debate is going to be probably one of the biggest events in the history of presidential politics.”
Watch the full interview with the RNC chairman below:
[CBS News] [Fox News] [The Atlantic] [Photo courtesy ilovemyfreedom.org]