Donald Trump Addresses Party Betrayal
If you remember back to early in the primary, the Republican National Committee had the dense pool of primary candidates sign a pledge. The pledge, once signed, promised that the candidate would not run as an Independent if they lost the nomination, and would support whichever nominee won.
Really, it is as though the RNC circulated the pledge because of Donald Trump. While the political outsider was gaining momentum, it was still thought impossible he would be the nominee. The fear was that he would have enough support to run as an Independent, and take away voters from the Republican nominee, and give away the election to Hillary Clinton.
Fast forward to today, and Donald Trump shocked the political elite by winning more votes than any Republican candidate in history, and securing the magical 1,237 number of delegates he needs to indisputably be the presumptive nominee. The problem, however, is that this is not what the party had in mind, and the outcome was not according to the predetermined plan.
So now, what we see is Republican politicians vowing to never support Donald Trump. Even though they promise they do not want to see Hillary Clinton in the White House, this promise is empty because to not vote for Trump is to by proxy vote for Hillary Clinton. Big name Republicans, such as the Bush brothers and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have promised to be a no show in Cleveland. Senator Kelly Ayotte, who spoke at Romney’s convention, has also said she will not attend. Senator Portman, the seated politician from Ohio and ever sought after VP choice, has also said he can spend his time more effectively than show support for the party’s nominee. With the convention right around the corner, these party leaders have refused to give in and rally behind Trump for the November election.
Trump has addressed this party betrayal, and addressed the fact that all these candidates, such as John Kasich who is the host governor for the convention, signed a pledge. Trump said,
“They signed a pledge saying they will abide, saying they will back the candidate of the party. They broke their word. In my opinion, they should never be allowed to run for public office again because what they did is disgraceful.”
Trump said that Kasich and Cruz, the final two candidates before Trump was the only one left in the race, have to publicly endorse him if they want a convention invite. The two candidates, however, said they do not care.
John Kasich, in fact, is still holding onto the fact that he thinks he would be the best candidate to beat Hillary Clinton. In a capping email, senior adviser John Weaver wrote that recent poll look bad for Trump, and they “confirm what we said throughout the campaign: John Kasich was the very best candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton.”
The Ohio governor has been very explicit that brokered conventions are not a new thing in American history, and it seems like he held on despite only winning on state because of this historical context. While primaries are new to our election process, voters would be outraged if the right to vote for the candidate was suddenly stripped away.
In a time that the Republican Party should be coming together, it has instead split into two factions: pro or anti Trump. The problem, however, is that Trump’s voting numbers make it hard for the anti Trump group to do anything about it. Trump has already said that he would go at it by himself, and if he did, those who went with him would exit the party for good.