Donald Trump Won’t Say If He’ll Support the Republican Nominee—Unless It’s Him


It took just a few minutes for the first GOP 2016 debate to get testy. Fox News’ Bret Baier started off the night by asking the 10 Republicans on the main-stage event whether they would pledge to support whoever wins the Republican nomination and guarantee that they wouldn’t run an independent bid next fall.

Everyone knew the answer in advance. When Wallace asked the candidates to raise their hand if they wouldn’t take that pledge, current frontrunner Donald Trump—who has previously said he would consider a third-party presidential bid if he lost the GOP nomination—predictably raised his hand. “I cannot say I have to respect the person if it’s not me,” Trump said.

“I want to run as the Republican nominee,” he continued, saying he wouldn’t run as an independent—just so long as he’s the one who wins the nomination, an outcome that he sees as a foregone conclusion.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) quickly pounced. “He buys and sells politicians of all stripes,” Paul jumped in, noting Trump’s past donations to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.

The moderators were teed up to put Trump in the hot seat from the start. Soon after that first question, Fox’s Megyn Kelly questioned Trump on whether he could run against Hillary Clinton in the general election given his litany of disparaging comments against women. “It was only Rosie O’Donnell,” Trump tried to interrupt Kelly, earning loud applause from the crowd in Cleveland. And even then, it was all just “fun” and “kidding,” in Trump’s assessment. “I don’t have time for total political correctness,” Trump said. “To be honest with you, this country doesn’t either.”

Keep doing you, Donald.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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