Kentucky Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul went after fellow candidate Donald Trump for refusing to pledge that he would support the GOP nominee and not run as a third-party candidate during Thursday’s primetime GOP presidential debate.
Moderator Bret Baier asked if there was anyone, “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? Again, we’re looking for you to raise your hand now, raise your hand now, if you won’t make that pledge tonight.”
After Trump raised his hand, Baier stated, “experts say an independent run would almost certainly hand the race over to Democrats, and likely another Clinton. You can’t say tonight that you can make that pledge?”
Trump responded, “I cannot say. I have to respect the person that, if it’s not me, the person that wins. If I do win, and I’m leading by quite a bit. That’s what I want to do. I can totally make that pledge if I’m the nominee, I will pledge I will not as an Independent. But — and I am discussing it with everybody. But I’m talking about a lot of leverage. We want to win, and we will win. But I want to win as the Republican. I want to run as the Republican nominee.”
Rand then interjected, “this is what’s wrong. He buys and sells politicians of all stripes.” And “He’s already hedging his bet on the Clintons, okay? So, if he doesn’t run as an Republican, maybe he supports Clinton, or maybe he runs as an Independent. But I’d say that he’s already hedging his bets, because he’s used to buying politicians.” Trump responded, “I’ve given you plenty of money.”
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