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Rep. Will Hurd speaks at a House Intelligence Committee hearing
Rep. Will Hurd speaks at a House Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., in 2019.Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call via AP file

Hurd says he won't sign GOP loyalty pledge, risking debate participation

A pledge to support the GOP nominee is among the criteria the Republican National Committee set to determine who gets to be in its presidential debates.


Former Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd will not sign the GOP's pledge to support the GOP nominee over his concerns about former President Donald Trump, a decision that could jeopardize his ability to appear in the party's presidential debates.

Hurd, who jumped into the GOP presidential race this week, revealed his decision during an interview Thursday on CNN.

"I've taken one pledge, that's when I put my hand on my heart to pledge allegiance to the flag. I've taken one oath, that's to defend the Constitution of the United states of America. And I've taken one vow, that's to my amazing, beautiful wife," he said.

"I wont be signing any kind of pledges, and I don't think parties should be trying to rig who should be on a debate stage."

When the Republican National Committee revealed the criteria to participate in its first debate in August, it included (along with meeting polling and donation metrics) a requirement to pledge to support the party's eventual presidential nominee.

Before criticizing Trump over his recent indictment, Hurd cited Trump's stated uncertainty over whether he'd sign the pledge.

"Donald Trump is not going to sign that pledge either," Hurd said.

"I am not in the business of lying to the American people in order to get a microphone, and I'm not going to support Donald Trump, so I can't honestly say I'm going to sign something."

Hurd is the first candidate to say explicitly that he would not sign the pledge, though other candidates have waffled on whether they'd follow through on a commitment to support Trump if they do sign it.

Even if Hurd did sign the pledge, he'd still have to meet other criteria related to polling and unique donors, as he jumps into the race as a relative unknown about two months before the first debate.