Republican leaders in two states reportedly are plotting to make presidential candidate Donald Trump’s quest for the GOP nomination a lot harder.
Party leaders in Virginia and North Carolina told Politico.com that they are considering a push to require candidates entering their respective Republican primaries to pledge their support for the eventual nominee and not run a third-party candidacy — a pledge Trump, the current frontrunner, would not make when asked to during the Fox News debate earlier this month in Cleveland.
“Anybody who wants to seek the Republican nomination should have to commit to supporting the ultimate Republican nominee,” Virginia’s former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli told Politico. “I don’t see anything wrong with that.”
Cuccinelli later clarified his remarks to the outlet, writing in an email:
"Donald Trump is an important candidate in the race for the White House and I don’t think he or anyone else should be blocked from running as a Republican."
"But once the primary is over, that’s it. I support the Virginia sore-loser law that prevents candidates that lose a primary from running third-party," Cuccinelli said.
Republican party officials in North Carolina announced a similar proposal, and told Politico they already are in talks with lawyers to draft language for a provision that asks each candidate to support the GOP nominee.
“Everything is on the table,” an official told Politico.
Party leaders in North Carolina and Virginia say they hope their ballot proposals will help convince the billionaire businessman to fully commit to the Republican Party.
The primary requirements must be submitted to the Republican National Committee by Oct. 1, Politico reports.
“Ballot access usually is regarded as a party function,” former RNC Chief Counsel Tom Josefiak told the website. “It definitely would be left up to the state party to decide how it’s going to operate.”