It’s almost silly to be discussing loyalty pledges and oaths but when you have a GOP candidate who is the current front-runner making threats to yank support for the GOP nominee if it’s not him, brings us to this state.
Speaking of states, the powers that be (which Trump supporters will shriek is the dreaded ESTABLISHMENT) in South Carolina are not happy with Donald Trump and his little threat. A few days ago, Streiff pointed out how Ted Cruz and John Kasich have operatives in South Carolina working delegates in the event of a contested election at the convention.
That’s a fire right there but where this is headed now could become an inferno:
The loyalty pledge is nothing new in South Carolina, where it has been required for decades, but took on new focus in light of Trump’s public musings about a third party run or withdrawing his support from the eventual nominee if he is stopped at a contested convention.
When asked about if he still would pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee during a town hall Tuesday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Trump said “No. I don’t anymore,” adding that he has been “treated very unfairly.”
Trump has been hiring staff to ensure he hangs on to delegates in what could be a messy convention fight, but the latest threat appears to be an unforced error on his part.
South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Matt Moore gave credence to the anti-Trump claims.
“Breaking South Carolina’s presidential primary ballot pledge raises some unanswered legal questions that no one person can answer,” he told TIME. “However, a court or national convention Committee on Contests could resolve them. It could put delegates in jeopardy.”
When Trump filed for the ballot in South Carolina he signed a pledge stating to “hereby affirm that I generally believe in and intend to support the nominees and platform of the Republican Party in the November 8, 2016 general election.”
South Carolina has yet to select delegates to the convention and it is a state where Trump may already be on the defensive with delegates. South Carolina delegates to the national convention must have been delegates or alternates to the state’s 2015 GOP convention, a requirement that benefits candidates who appeal to the establishment.
Those delegates would be bound to Trump on the first ballot according to state and RNC rules. The challenge, which could only be filed once delegates are selected, would seek to allow them to be free-agents on the first ballot, thereby keeping Trump further from the key 1,237 figure he needs to secure the nomination.
Emphasis mine. That’s YUGE.
Pay close attention to how Trump, his team and his surrogates in the media (particularly Fox News) react to this. Just this little bit of news is going to make them freak out.
Remember, I wrote here just days ago that if Trump doesn’t get the magic number of 1,237 delegates he and his supporters will seek to delegitimize the entire process paving a way for some kind of goofy third party run. Even if he doesn’t he can spend the rest of his life saying he should have been President but it was “stolen” from him.