Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination, said Sunday that it is a “futile idea” for Republican National Committee candidates to pledge support for the eventual nominee.
A Interview “I think this pledge is a useless idea,” Christie said on CNN’s “State of the Union” after he was asked if he would support party front-runner Donald Trump, despite being a former president. A felony offender.
“And, for the rest of my life, Republican primary candidates have never had to take an oath,” he said. “You know, we’re Republicans. The idea is that you’re going to support the Republican Party whether you win or lose. And you don’t have to ask somebody to sign it.
“It’s only the era of Donald Trump that we have to sign something on the pledge,” Christie added. “So I think it’s a bad idea,”
A spokeswoman for the RNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.
The RNC requires presidential hopefuls to pledge their support for the party’s eventual nominee if they want to participate in the GOP’s first primary debate in Milwaukee on Aug. 23.
Both Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, another Republican contender, have said they will sign the RNC’s pledge. But both GOP candidates have been outspoken critics of Trump and the pledge, raising questions about whether they will follow through on the pledge.
Trump hasn’t committed to signing the pledge: “There may be people I’m not very happy to support who’s running, so we’ll see,” he said in March. NBC News previously reported that the former president was considering skipping the Republican debates.
A Interview with ABC NewChristie said he would take the pledge “as seriously” as Trump did in the 2016 election cycle.
“I will be on the debate stage and I will take the same pledge that the RNC puts before me as Donald Trump did eight years ago,” Christie said, adding that Trump “absolutely ignored” the pledge in 2016. and did not face punishment.
Hutchinson hinted at signing the pledge in early June, telling NBC News: “I will do what we have to do to engage in debate.” But one Interview with Politico Last week, he said he would not vote for Trump if criminal charges were proven in the classified documents case.
Hutchinson has too The RNC insisted on adding one more addition to its pledge Absolves signatories from endorsing a candidate for “espionage or a serious crime.”
The RNC’s other requirements for candidates to qualify for the debate stage include reaching the polling threshold and raising money from at least 40,000 individual donors, including 200 donors from at least 20 states and territories.