GOP front-runner Donald Trump is once again threatening to peace out on the party he has spent the better part of the last year upending.
During a press conference in South Carolina, Trump accused the Republican National Committee of attempting to undermine his campaign by filling Saturday’s debate audience with hostile, booing elements. “The whole room was made of special interests and donors, which is a disgrace from the RNC,” said Trump. “The RNC better get its act together because, you know, I signed a pledge. The pledge isn’t being honored by the RNC.” The pledge he’s referring to is the one that said he wouldn’t launch an independent campaign if he didn’t win the Republican nomination (and that he’d support whoever did), provided that the RNC treated him with the proper “respect.”
“I signed a pledge, but it’s a double-edged pledge,” Trump continued. “As far as I’m concerned, they’re in default on their pledge.” As Jonathan Chait has argued, letting Trump run as an independent candidate — and effectively hand the presidential election over to the Democrats — might not be the worst thing for the long-term health of the GOP, but that probably doesn’t mean the Republicans are ready to watch him tear up that “loyalty oath” quite yet.