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By renouncing the loyalty oath Donald Trump made that he would support whatever presidential candidate the Republican Party nominates, the GOP front-runner may be giving up fifty of the delegates he’s already won.
The South Carolina Republican Party made it a condition to be on its primary ballot that candidates pledge support to the party’s eventual nominee, and Trump took that state’s entire 50 delegates in February.
The Palmetto State’s loyalty pledge, which has been in place for decades, took on greater significance with Trump’s statement at the first GOP debate that he couldn’t necessarily support any candidate other than himself.
Prior to the primary, Trump signed the pledge with the Republican National Committee but the trouble with such promises are their lack of teeth. They have no penalty for breaking the oath and are utterly unenforceable.
When the billionaire businessman suggested at Tuesday’s CNN town hall that he may not adhere to the loyalty pledge, South Carolina anti-Trump forces began plotting to contest his 50 delegates, according to a TIME report.
When CNN host Anderson Cooper asked Trump Tuesday whether he still felt bound by his loyalty pledge, he said, “No. I don’t anymore,” and claimed that he’d been “treated very unfairly.”
But the anti-Trump force’s claim it has some merit, according to South Carolina Republican Party chairman Matt Moore.
“Breaking South Carolina’s presidential-primary-ballot pledge raises some unanswered legal questions that no one person can answer,” he told TIME. “However, a court or national convention Committee on Contests could resolve them. It could put delegates in jeopardy.”
Trump supporters cried foul.
@thehill The GOP has been fixing elections with democrats, but now they have to fix their own primary.
— J D Phillips LCSW (@JazzDad55) April 1, 2016
@thehill Delegates are nothing but a scam. Get rid of the delegate system and let the people decide.
— Jim Carpenter (@JWCarpenter1) April 1, 2016
— Patricia Ann (@Ielizabethgrace) April 1, 2016
— Nicole Byles Jackson (@nikkibjackson) April 1, 2016
@thehill republican politics at its best. None of them will support him but the expect him 2 honor a pledge 2 support them. Lol oh the irony
— Btysheen (@Btysheen) April 1, 2016
Here’s a clip of a portion of the CNN town hall via TIME.
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