Trump, Cruz and Kasich all back away from pledge to support eventual GOP nominee

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Wednesday March 30th, 2016

Trainwreck.

Not that anyone thought they would at this point, but even the pretense defeated candidates for the Republican nomination would come together behind the nominee is now gone. All three who remain in the race said during last night's CNN Town Hall that they're done with the pledge they signed last year:

 

Initially designed to stymie the threat of a Trump independent run, the real-estate mogul's Republican foes have been hamstrung by the signed pledge they all gave to the Republican National Committee in September to back the winner of the party's nominating contest for months.
That changed Tuesday night, starting with Cruz, who cited Trump's recent tweets about his wife, Heidi Cruz.
"I'm not in the habit of supporting someone who attacked my wife and attacked my family. I think that is going beyond the line," he said.
"I'm not an easy person to tick off, but when you go after my wife, when you go after my daughters, that does it."
Cruz, however, didn't explicitly say he would oppose Trump's nomination.
So Trump let him off the hook.
He said Cruz looked "tormented" trying to answer Cooper's "very simple question."
"I don't want his support. I don't need his support. I want him to be comfortable," Trump said.
For his part, Trump said he was scrapping the pledge altogether, saying he's "been treated very unfairly" in the contest by the RNC and the party's establishment.
Kasich, too, backed off his pledge -- saying he shouldn't have raised his hand when the entire Republican field was asked at the first debate last year whether they'd back the eventual nominee. "Probably shouldn't have even answered that question, but it was the first debate, and what the heck," he said.

 

It was actually not only the first debate when that question was asked and Kasich raised his hand, but "what the heck" pretty well sums up what we've come to expect from the "adult in the room."

Have you ever seen a race devolve into this? I haven't, and I've been following them since 1976. I've seen candidates get angry with each other. I've seen things get personal. I've seen vicious attack ads. But I've never seen a candidate, on a debate stage (let alone all the candidates), publicly cast doubt on their own willingness to vote Republican in the fall.

And keep in mind this is happening at a time when Democrats are getting ready to nominate the most horrendous candidate for the presidency in anyone's memory - a lying, cheating, self-interested, incompetent fraud who has clearly committed at least one felony that jeopardized national security. That's who we're going to let slip into the White House because we're all so mad at each other?

Now let's not mince words here: This is all about Trump. They won't say it on stage because they don't want to help each other, but if Cruz is the nominee, Kasich will support him. And if Kasich is the nominee, Cruz will support him. But neither will support Trump and Trump will support neither.

Sigh.

Maybe there's a silver lining to this. I've always thought it was absurd that candidates tear each other to shreds during nominating contests, then presume to "unite" in the fall. Four months ago, I told you this guy cavorted with the mafia, with child molesters and with con artists. Now I'm behind him all the way.

Both ends of that have always seemed fake to me. You don't really believe that guy is as bad as you're saying during the primary. But you'll say anything to beat him. That's fake. And you're not really as enthusiastic about him later on as you claim to be. That's fake too. At least these guys aren't being fake. They can't stand each other and they're done pretending. I can only imagine what will happen in the fall when one of them actually is the nominee (unless that doesn't happen), and we get to hear what the other two say about that. Because you know the media will ask. The media love red-on-red violence.

A Hillary Clinton presidency would be an unqualified disaster for this country. And the one party that can defeat her has completely lost control of its nominating process. It's become a total trainwreck, and even the fact that someone will ultimately get the nomination in July doesn't seem to promise the end of the chaos. This could not have happened at a worse time. Four years from now, when ObamaCare continues to decimate our health care system and the Supreme Court's liberal majority has struck blow after blow against the Constitution, I hope someone somewhere realizes how easily this woman could have been stopped.

And yet, here we are.

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