The Republican Party of Florida will no longer require GOP presidential candidates to sign a loyalty pledge to eventually support their party’s presidential nominee if they wish to appear on the Sunshine State’s ballot for the 2024 election, marking a win for former President Donald Trump.
The Florida GOP voted in May 2023 to require presidential candidates to sign a pledge to support the party’s eventual nominee. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) had supported the proposition.
The New York Post reported that DeSantis’ campaign spoke out against the Florida GOP’s decision.
“We believe anyone who wanted to run for president as a Republican should be willing to pledge their support for our eventual nominee,” Bryan Griffin told NBC News. “It is surprising that anyone interested in seeing the defeat of Joe Biden in 2024 would disagree.”
"It is surprising that anyone interested in seeing the defeat of Joe Biden in 2024 would disagree"
A spokesperson for Governor Ron DeSantis told The Epoch Times that the opposition to the pledge was surprisinghttps://t.co/1iN3wbWFjb
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) September 16, 2023
Unlike DeSantis and other GOP presidential candidates, Trump has maintained that he would not support the Republican Party’s eventual presidential nominee.
The former president told Newsmax, “Why would I sign it? I can name three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president. So right there, there’s a problem.”
Lee County GOP Chair Michael Thomspon commented on the Florida GOP’s decision, saying “of course” the loyalty pledge was designed to go after Trump, calling it the “Donald J. Trump rule,” as reported by Breitbart News.
Florida’s decision came as the Republican National Committee (RNC) requires all presidential candidates to sign a “Beat Biden” pledge, forcing them to support the eventual party nominee if they wish to appear in debates.
It appears Florida is now moving away from the RNC’s rules. State Sen. Joe Gruters (R) recently brought a motion to rescind the loyalty oath at the Florida GOP’s quarterly meeting in Orlando, Breitbart News reported. Gruters said his motion was passed on an “overwhelming voice vote.”
“A lot of Republicans in this state are saying the primary is basically over. Trump is ahead by 40, 50 points in some polls and he’s battling multiple indictments. So why would our state party want to fight his campaign?” Gruters said.
“If we didn’t make this change, the Republican Party as we know it today wouldn’t exist in two months. There would be a complete revolt from the president’s base,” he added.
The state GOP’s decision seriously affects DeSantis’ presidential campaign, considering that the governor is trailing Trump by a wide margin in Florida.
A Florida Politics poll found that Trump leads DeSantis by 20 points in Florida. The former president holds 53% support in the Sunshine State, compared to DeSantis’ 33%.