Florida Republicans strive for 'maximum unity' by forcing GOP candidates to sign loyalty pledge
The Florida GOP is making a loyalty pledge mandatory for all Republican presidential candidates, CNN reports.
Per CNN, the pledge "is similar to a Republican National Committee requirement to qualify for next month’s first presidential debate, under which participants have to sign a pledge 'agreeing to support the eventual party nominee.'"
All Republican candidates, according to Politico, must "pledge their loyalty to the eventual" GOP "nominee to make the March 19 primary, a contest that could tip the balance of the crowded race since Florida’s contest is a winner-take-all primary."
CNN reports in order "to qualify for Florida's primary ballot, candidates will have until November 22 to submit a signed, notarized pledge to 'endorse the 2024 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is.'"
Furthermore, the pledge says candidates "will not seek to run as an independent, non-party affiliated, or write-in candidate," and refuse to "seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party."
During an interview with CNN's Dana Bash Sunday, the newest GOP candidate and former Texas congressman Will Hurd said he "won't be signing any kind of pledges," and he doesn't "think parties should be trying to rig who should be on a debate stage."
He added, "I can't lie to get access to a microphone," emphasizing, "I'm not going to support Donald Trump. I recognize the impact that has on my ability to get access to the debate stage, but I can't lie."
[Florida Governor Ron] DeSantis last month sidestepped a question about whether he would 'support' [former President Donald] Trump if he was the nominee, although at a later campaign event he added that candidates should 'respect the outcome of the process.' Trump himself has equivocated about supporting the nominee, saying in one radio interview earlier this year it would depend on who it was.
Both Desantis and Trump are Florida residents.
CNN reports Florida GOP chair Christian Ziegler insisted via "email that the loyalty pledge is an effort to 'ensure maximum unity' headed into the 2024 general election," saying, "The days of outlier party grifters – such as Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – using Republican Party resources to secure a title and then weaponize that title against our own team must end."
Cheney and Kinzinger have both publicly criticized Trump.
The GOPer added, "Contested primaries are part of the process, but we must always remember that the Democrats are the true threat to the America we love and we must be unified to defeat every single one of them."
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