When Donald Trump first joined the GOP race for president he came out of the gate to jump ahead of the other 16 candidates, but none of them actually thought he could win. So after the first debate, in which Trump hedged on whether he would support the eventual Republican nominee if it weren’t him, the other candidates pressured him to sign a pledge that said he would support the nominee no matter who it was.
My, how times have changed.
As reported by Breitbart News, 4 candidates still have refused to directly pledge their support for Trump despite their insistence that he do so for them had they been victorious.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, after they both dropped out of the race earlier this month, have so far remained uncommitted to Trump if he officially becomes the party’s nominee for the general election. In addition, former Sen. Rick Santorum and former New York Gov. George Pataki also have not said whether they’ll support the party’s presumptive nominee.
Before suspending his campaign Cruz repeatedly dodged the question. NBC News’ Chuck Todd asked Cruz, “If [Trump is] the nominee, I take it you can’t support him anymore, can you?”
According to the Washington Post, “Cruz spent 772 words responding to the question — Todd chimed in every once in a while to push the Texas senator — and never really got to an answer.”
Then, on May 10, Cruz told radio host Glenn Beck, who hit the campaign trail on behalf of Cruz, “We’ll see what happens as the months go forward. I think we need to watch and see what the candidates say and do.”
When Kasich suspended his pointless campaign, as the last Republican standing against Trump (with a tenth of Trump’s delegates), he never mentioned the candidate who bested him nor indicated how he’ll vote. Instead he’s been allowed to slink back to Ohio without ever being asked.
Meanwhile, two of the 16 candidates are genuine sore losers: Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who failed to generate more than 1 percent in national polling; and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who spent $100 million and never got close to Trump in polling – both have said said they will never support Trump (which is akin to giving Hillary Clinton a vote).
“In November, I will not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but I will support principled conservatives at the state and federal levels, just as I have done my entire life, Bush posted on Facebook after Trump was crowned the presumptive GOP nominee,” as reported by BreitBart News.
Though Graham had a pleasant phone call with Trump a week or so ago, he still will not come off his position to withhold his support in November.
“My position remains the same regarding both candidates running for president,” Graham stated. “I will do what I can in the Senate to help the next president. The next president will inherit a mess.”
After Graham and Bush failed to live up to the same bargain they imposed on Trump, the presumptive nominee blasted them for breaking the GOP pledge.
“Jeb Bush signed a pledge. A binding pledge” Trump stated during an interview after Bush’s Facebook post. He also singled out Graham in his criticism saying it’s “not honorable.”
On the plus side, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was the first 2016 presidential candidate to throw in with the man who vanquished him after suspending his campaign following a loss in the New Jersey primary in February.
“I said to Mary Pat, we never ever make a mistake by standing with your friend and Donald Trump is my friend,” Christie said during a fundraiser in New Jersey recently.
Dr. Ben Carson, who suspended his own campaign in March, has also publicly endorsed Trump.