Donald Trump announced Thursday that he has signed a loyalty pledge circulated by the Republican National Committee (RNC), promising to back the GOP nominee and forgo an independent run.
The move by the current Republican front-runner theoretically solves a problem for the GOP, which had been struggling to contend with Trump’s threat to run as an independent if he were not treated fairly by the RNC.
Trump, at a press conference this afternoon, declared RNC chairman Reince Preibus has “been extremely fair. The RNC has been absolutely terrific.”
“That’s what I wanted,” Trump said, “I wanted fairness.”
Trump said it made sense to sign the pledge because as the front-runner, he felt it would be best over all if the GOP united behind him when he won he nomination — something he talked about as a foregone conclusion.
#share#”The best way for the Republicans to win is if I win the nomination and go directly against whoever [Democrats] happen to put up,” Trump said. “And for that reason I have signed the pledge.”
#related#One early nominating state, South Carolina already require candidates to sign a loyalty pledge in order to appear on the Republican primary ballot, so Trump, eventually, would have had to contend with the issue. Other states had discussed creating similar hurdles for ballot access.
The pledge is not legally binding in any way, so hypothetically Trump could simply change his mind. But, he said Thursday, he had “no intention” of doing so.
“I see no circumstances under which I would tear up that pledge,” he said.
— Alexis Levinson is the senior political reporter for National Review.