Chris Christie says RNC Loyalty Pledge is a ‘useless idea’

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination, on Sunday called the Republican National Committee’s requirement for candidates to pledge support for the eventual nominee a “useless idea.” .

In a CNN ‘State of the Union’ interview, Christie said ‘I think the pledge is just a useless idea’ when asked if he would pledge to support Donald Trump, the party favorite, even though the former president is convicted of a crime.

“And by the way, in my entire life, we’ve never had to get Republican primary candidates to make a commitment,” he said. “You know, we were Republicans. And the idea is that you would support the Republican win or lose. And you didn’t have to ask anyone to sign anything.

“It’s only in the days of Donald Trump that you need someone to sign something on a pledge,” Christie added. “So I think it’s a bad idea”

A spokesperson for the RNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

The RNC is asking presidential candidates to pledge support for the party’s eventual nominee if they wish to participate in the first GOP primary debate in Milwaukee on August 23.

Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, another Republican candidate, both said they would sign the pledge. But both are vocal critics of Trump and have also criticized the pledge, raising questions about whether they would follow through.

Trump hasn’t committed to signing the pledge: “There are probably people I wouldn’t be very happy to endorse who come forward, so we’ll see,” he said in March. NBC News reported that he was considering skipping the early Republican debates.

In an interview with ABC News this month, Christie said he would take the pledge “just as seriously as” Trump did in the 2016 election cycle.

“I will be on the debate stage, and I will take the pledge that the RNC puts before me just as seriously as Donald Trump did eight years ago,” Christie said, claiming that Trump had “absolutely ignored” commitment in 2016 and was not subject to any sanction.

Hutchinson indicated in early June that he would sign the pledge, telling NBC News, “I’ll do what we have to do to get in on the debate.” But in an interview with Politico last week, he said he would not vote for Trump if he was convicted of criminal charges in the classified documents case.

Hutchinson has also urged the RNC to add an addendum to its pledge which exempts signatories from supporting a candidate “convicted of espionage or a serious crime”.

Other RNC requirements for candidates to qualify for the debate stage include reaching a voting threshold and fundraising from at least 40,000 unique donors, including 200 from at least 20. States and territories.

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