Leaders of the Republican Party breathed a sigh of relief during Tuesday’s presidential debate after Donald Trump declared he would not wage an independent campaign for president that could hamper the GOP’s White House hopes in the general election.
At least for now.
“I’ve gained great respect for the Republican leadership,” Trump said after saying he was ready to rule out an independent run if he fails to capture the GOP nomination.
“I am totally committed to the Republican Party, I feel very honored to be the frontrunner...I will do everything in my power to beat Hillary Clinton,” he added.
It is not the first time he has vowed to support the eventual Republican nominee, though. Trump, along with the rest of the Republican presidential field, signed a Republican National Committee pledge in September aimed at preventing an independent run that could split votes with the eventual GOP nominee and hurt the party’s chances of retaking the White House.
But in the months after, Trump said he would mull an independent run if he was “treated unfairly.” In an interview with CNN after the debate, he again said he would not run outside of the party.
Ben Carson, who made similar threats to leave the party, also re-committed to supporting the eventual GOP nominee.