Seventeen GOP presidential contenders pledged to support the eventual nominee, but now presumptive nominee Donald Trump is calling out former establishment darling Jeb Bush for not honoring that pledge.
“I don’t like when a Jeb Bush who signs a pledge doesn’t honor the pledge,” Trump said during a Saturday rally in Lynden, Washington.
Jeb Bush signed a pledge and basically it says I’m gonna support the person who wins the Republican primaries right? And it said that very strongly and he signed the pledge and now he says he’s not going to honor the pledge. That’s very dishonorable. I think he should honor it. Even if he doesn’t love me. And it’s hard for him to like me. But remember this, look, I hit him hard. Do we agree? Alright. Who cares? I mean I hit a lot of people hard and they’re like, my friends now. And they hit me hard.
Bush posted to Facebook on Friday a message that included the statement, “In November, I will not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but I will support principled conservatives at the state and federal levels, just as I have done my entire life.”
At the first Fox News Republican presidential debate last August, each of ten candidates were asked if they were not willing to commit to supporting the eventual Republican nominee. Trump was the only one to say he was not yet ready to make that commitment.
Trump did take the pledge last September.
The RNC pledge that each candidate is said to have committed to reads, “I [name] affirm that if I do not win the 2016 Republican nomination for president of the United States I will endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is. I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party.”
“By the way, Jeb Bush had $168 million put in the bank by lots of different people that would have controlled him. Ding ding ding like a puppet,” Trump told the Lynden crowd. He stated that Bush spent 12 to 20 million dollars of that total on negative ads toward him. “So I hit him and he’s low energy.”
“I’m not a fan of Jeb,” said Trump. “Ya know you many votes I’m gonna lose because of Jeb not coming to the convention? I actually think I’ll gain votes, you wanna know the truth. Because it’s like this whole establishment thing ya know, they’re all, it’s all the gravy train folks.”
Trump asserted, “The gravy train’s gonna end pretty soon for a lot of people.”
Trump touched on a few other former candidates as well.
“Gov. Rick Perry said some very nice things about me,” said Trump at the Lynden rally. “He went from I’m a cancer on the Republican Party — That was tough, remember that? I said wow, that’s bad — to yesterday he endorsed me.”
With Perry’s endorsement and some flattering words Trump resolved, “so he is forgiven.”
“Rand Paul just endorsed me,” said Trump. “I always got along well with him then we had a little bad month, but I always got along well with Rand Paul. But he gave a beautiful endorsement.”
Trump declared that most of the former candidates have endorsed him with the exception of Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush.
Dr. Ben Carson, an early Trump supporter, “got me in a little trouble yesterday,” said Trump. He mentioned a story that Carson, who is heading up Trump’s VP selection committee, might choose a Democrat as a running mate. Trump said on Saturday that Carson was misquoted.
“Chris Christie is great. He endorsed me early.”
Trump called former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee “incredible” before going on to say, “the only on I like better than Mike Huckabee is his daughter.”
Huckabee’s daughter Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined the Trump campaign in February.
Trump repeatedly spoke of the media’s reporting that ignored the large Republican field when slamming Trump for at one time not breaking 50 percent.
Trump went so far as to say, “Abraham Lincoln couldn’t have broken 50 percent” in that circumstance.
The GOP presumptive nominee didn’t forget to take many swipes at Democratic Party frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Trump called the long time politician, “totally controlled by Wall St.”
“She just booked 90 million of ads,” said Trump. “66,000 ads on me negative and I’m in first place by a landslide.”
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