Donald Trump gets asked for loyalty ahead of 2024 presidential debates
Washington DC - The Republican Party is planning to hold its first presidential primary debate on August 23, organizers said Friday, announcing that candidates will be made to sign a pledge agreeing to support the eventual nominee. But will Donald Trump consent?
Former President Donald Trump, the runaway front-runner in the early stages of the contest, has so far declined to commit to backing the eventual winner, saying in a radio interview in February that it would "depend on who the nominee was."
It's been previously reported that Trump is reluctant in any case to share the limelight with lower-polling rivals and had discussed skipping one or both of the first two debates.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) said it will also require anyone hoping to make the debate stage to have garnered one percent of the vote in three approved polls and have 40,000 unique donors.
Fox News will host the first showdown in Milwaukee while a second will take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin, a swing state that President Joe Biden won by 20,000 votes in 2020.
The Republican field is made up of seven major candidates so far, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who trails Trump by more than 30 points in the polling averages, while no other hopeful is posting double figures.
The RNC said it would stage an overflow debate on August 24 if enough candidates meet the criteria to require splitting the field over two nights.
Cover photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI, CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP