CNN’s Dana Bash pressed Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel Sunday on whether Donald Trump will support a victorious GOP presidential nominee in 2024 if he loses the nomination. Although McDaniel repeatedly said he would, Bash had her doubts.
As the RNC prepares for its first presidential nominee debate in August, all eyes are on whether Trump will sign a pledge to support whoever wins the nomination if he is beaten at the ballot box.
“We haven’t put the criteria out but I expect a pledge will be part of it — it was a part of 2016,” McDaniel told Bash on Sunday’s “State of the Union,” calling the stipulation a “no-brainer.” “If you’re gonna be on the Republican National Committee debate stage asking voters to support you, you should say, ‘I’m gonna the voters and who they chose as the nominee.’”
McDaniel clarified the imperative of supporting whoever is selected as the GOP nominee, noting that if she said she would not support the Republican nominee, she would be “rightfully removed” from office. “Anyone getting on the Republican National Committee debate stage should be able to say, ‘I will support the will of the voters, and the eventual nominee of our party,’” she said.
Despite McDaniel’s confidence, Bash shared her doubt by playing a recent interview clip of Trump saying he would support the nominee who beat him depending on the identity of the successful nominee. “It would depend,” Trump told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I would give you the same answer I gave in 2016 during the debate. It would have to depend on who the nominee was.”
“So are you prepared to block the former President if he doesn’t sign it?” Bash pressed as McDaniel clarified that Trump did sign the pledge in 2016. “Everybody signed it in 2016.”
“But this is about the here and the now,” Bash shot back. “He didn’t commit to it.”
McDaniel continued to express her confidence that all GOP presidential nominee candidates will sign the pledge, adding that the underlying unity depends on defeating the Democratic nominee.
“I think the voters are very intent on winning and they do want to see a debate stage of people saying, ‘I’m not going to support this guy, I’m not gonna support this guy,'” McDaniel said. “What they need to say is, ‘I will do everything I can to defeat Joe Biden.’ And that means supporting the nominee of the Republican party.”
Bash continued to pin McDaniel on the former President’s opaque support of other nominees, asking “You can’t see a scenario where Donald Trump would just skip the debate if he’s forced to sign something?”
“I think President Trump would like to be on the debate stage,” McDaniel said. “That’s what he likes to do. And I suspect they’ll all be there.”
You can watch the entire interview in the clip at the top.