The Republican National Committee’s loyalty pledge died on Tuesday night. It was nearly eight months old.
At a town-hall-style event hosted by CNN, Donald J. Trump said he would not promise to support the eventual nominee if it was not him, despite a loyalty oath that he and 16 other candidates signed in September.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas also would not explicitly vow to back the nominee, in his case if it was Mr. Trump, saying only that Mr. Trump would not get that far. Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio was more explicit, saying that if the nominee was someone who “is really hurting the country and dividing the country,” then he just wasn’t sure. Pressed by the host, Anderson Cooper, on whether he was saying he thinks that’s what Mr. Trump is doing, Mr. Kasich declined to elaborate.
The reason the pledge existed in the first place was to prevent Mr. Trump walking out of the Republican contest and into a third-party candidacy. But the comments marked a fresh stage in the open warfare that has erupted in the past weeks, as Mr. Trump has moved closer to capturing the nomination of a party whose major leaders remain deeply troubled by his comments. The wounds in the party are becoming so deep that they may be impossible to heal in time for the general election campaign, no matter who the nominee is. ...NYT