In the fall of 2015, all GOP presidential candidates were approached by the RNC to sign a loyalty pledge vowing to support the nominee, no matter who it would eventually become. As the race has narrowed to just three candidates, Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz and Governor John Kasich, that pledge is rapidly falling apart as the politics on the campaign trail become increasingly nasty.
Last week after Trump threatened to "spill the beans" about Cruz's wife Heidi, who has suffered from depression in the past, and after retweeting a photo attacking Heidi for her looks, Cruz was asked if he'll support Trump should he win the nomination. Cruz said didn't say no, but responded by saying he was going to beat Trump. Tonight during a town hall style meeting hosted by CNN, Cruz was clear.
"I’m not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and my family," Cruz said.
During the same town hall, Trump rescinded his support for the eventual nominee, unless of course it's him, and said he didn't want Ted Cruz's support should he become the winner.
"No, I don’t anymore," Trump said to CNN's Anderson Cooper after being asked about whether he still supported the loyalty pledge. "I've been treated very unfairly [by the RNC]."
"Ted Cruz doesn’t need to support me," Trump continued. “I don’t really want him to do something he’s not comfortable with.”
Kasich, who was interviewed last during the same program, also failed to fully back the pledge and left room to pull away from it.
"All of us shouldn’t even have answered that question,” Kasich said.
Where this leaves the RNC, time will tell, but if Cruz or Trump don't reach 1237 delegates by June, we're headed to a contested convention where the loyalty of delegates, not candidates, will be tested.