The RNC sent pledge forms to at least some of the Republican candidates on Wednesday. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul have received the pledge, CBS News confirmed.
The pledge, which was obtained by Politico, would have candidates promise first, to “endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is,” and second, demands that candidates “will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate” nor “seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party.”
It is evident that the pledge is addressed to Trump, given that none of the other GOP candidates have indicated that they would consider an outside run if they do not win the Republican nomination. It is, in fact, a question that has already been put to the top contenders in the field.
During the first GOP presidential debate, Fox News moderator Bret Baier asked for a show of hands to answer the question, “Who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the Republican party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person?”
Only one person on the stage raised his hand: Trump. He shrugged and told Baier and the debate audience, “I will not make the pledge at this time.”
But the Associated Press reports that RNC officials “have been working privately with Trump’s campaign for several weeks” to convince him not to undertake an independent run, should he lose the nomination. If he ran, it would almost certainly put him in the position of a GOP spoiler, who would draw votes away from the party’s nominee and hand the election to the Democrats.
Trump has hinted he would resolve the question soon, though. At an event in Nashville over the weekend, according to the Associated Press, he said, “We’re going to make a decision very soon,” adding, “and I think a lot of people are going to be very happy.”
Trump has scheduled a 2pm news conference in New York following his meeting with Priebus.
CBS News’ Sopan Deb and Steve Chaggaris contributed to this report