Who signed the Republican Pledge of Allegiance?
The Republican presidential candidates danced about whether they would support former President Donald Trump in 2024 if he won the GOP nomination — but with the first primary debate in less than two weeks, their hands are up.
To qualify for the Aug. 23 debate, candidates will have to meet ballot and fundraising limits, but they will also have to sign a pledge of allegiance declaring they will support the final Republican presidential nominee and waive any third-party bid. Their own.
“I affirm that if I do not win the 2024 Republican nomination for President of the United States, I will respect the will of the primary voters and support the candidate in order to save our country and defeat Joe Biden. I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate and will not seek or accept the nomination for office president of any other party.”
Trump has hinted he plans to skip the first two debates altogether, but said Wednesday night more specifically that he won’t sign the Pledge of Allegiance.
“I’m not going to sign the pledge. Why would I sign a pledge if there are people I’m not going to have. I’m not going to have people named as someone I’m going to endorse,” Trump said on Newsmax, though he didn’t say specifically who he wouldn’t endorse.
When running for president in 2015, Trump was reluctant to say he would bring back everyone who topped the GOP list in 2016, though he did eventually sign the Pledge of Allegiance for that cycle.
So far, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum have been the only four nominees so far to sign the Pledge of Allegiance. These four have also met other criteria to make the debate stage in Milwaukee later this month.
“See you in Milwaukee!” DeSantis campaign teased on Xthe platform formerly known as Twitter.
The Republican National Committee has come under fire from some anti-Trump candidates who say the pledge will force them to support the former president despite their repeated criticism.
“The GOP must make it clear that there is no undertaking to support a candidate if he is found guilty of espionage or a serious felony,” former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson Books on X in June. Donald Trump is the target of an ongoing criminal investigation and must step down He puts the interest of the country above his candidacy.”
Other anti-Trump candidates appeared to disparage the pledge, with former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie noting Trump’s reluctance to support an alternative candidate in 2016.
“I will take the pledge as seriously as Donald Trump took it in 2016,” Christie said last month.
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com