Donald Trump got off to a controversial start in the first GOP debate back in August, by refusing to commit his support to the eventual Republican nominee and not run as a third party candidate. Brett Bair, of Fox News, opened the debate by asking the candidates for a show of hands, and Trump was the only one to raise his in opposition. It took a lot of chutzpah to stand alone at a RNC sponsored debate, amid other Republican contenders, and in front of a Republican audience and basically say that if they don’t give you the party’s nomination, you’re going rogue; not exactly sportsman-like conduct.
On September 3, after a personal appeal from RNC chair Reince Preibus, Trump signed a pledge that states, “I will endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is,” and “I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party.” Trump said of the pledge, “All I want is to be treated fairly”. Is that a caveat? All the other Republican nominees signed the same pledge, but they argued that getting Donald Trump to sign it is not a real win for the GOP. There are no legal ramifications should he decide to opt out, and it also allows him to get his name listed on all the Republican primary ballots.
Will he prove to be a turncoat? I don’t know, but I don’t trust Donald Trump. I think he sincerely believes that he can help move the country in the right direction, and I don’t doubt his patriotism, but he’s all about Donald, and all about winning, and I think he’ll do whatever is necessary to snag his prize. Yesterday, on ABC’s “This Week”, in a discussion about Republicans trying to derail his campaign, and if he would consider running as an Independent, he said, “I’m going to have to see what happens. I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly” There is that word again, “fairly”. I have a feeling that Donald Trump defines “fairly” as getting what he wants.
If he does abandon the party, and make a bid as a third party candidate, we may have 1992 all over again. George H.W. Bush was the Republican nominee, Bill Clinton the Democrat, and Ross Perot ran as an Independent, garnering 19 percent of the vote. There is serious debate as to whether Perot actually cost Bush the election, but he certainly didn’t help him any. Some pundits say that most of Perot’s votes would have gone to Clinton anyway, but there is no real way of knowing whether that is true. Regardless, if Trump deserts his party in their time of need, then this election is not really about the country; it’s about Donald Trump.